Tokyo shares rise as domestic jet’s maiden flight lifts mood

TOKYO - Shares in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries climbed almost two per cent Wednesday after the company conducted the maiden test flight for Japan's first domestic passenger jet.

The approximately 35-metre (115-foot) long Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) took off from the runway at Tokyo's Nagoya airport for a 90-minute trip.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' stocks gained 1.83 per cent to 625.8 yen on the news of the flight - a landmark in a decade-long programme to launch the plane - giving a lift to Japanese investors.

The firm's shares outpaced the benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which finished up 0.10 per cent, or 20.13 points, at 19,691.39. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.37 per cent, or 5.84 points, at 1,595.32.

Japanese shares, which jumped two per cent on Monday, are trading around their highest level since late August, having suffered a torrid third quarter - along with global markets - on worries about the global impact of a slowdown in Chinese growth.

On Wednesday, Japanese investors shrugged off the latest weak Chinese data out of China that showed growth in the country's industrial production fell to a six-month low in October.

However, Chinese retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, held up well, growing 11.0 per cent from a year earlier.

In share trading, Japan Post Holdings, which last week listed - along with Japan Post's banking and insurance units - following an $11.5 billion share sale, soared 5.47 per cent to 1,851 yen.

Japan Post's banking unit also rose, while the insurance unit ticked lower.

Inpex advanced 4.23 per cent to 1,217 yen after the petroleum explorer cut its full year operating profit forecast by less than analysts had estimated.

Toyota slid 0.40 per cent to 7,598 yen, while market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, edged down 0.37 per cent to 47,420 yen.

US stocks finished mixed on Tuesday.

The Dow rose 0.16 per cent, and the S&P 500 was up 0.15 per cent and the Nasdaq declined 0.24 per cent.

In currency trading, the dollar retreated to 122.95 yen from 123.19 yen Tuesday in New York.

The euro traded mixed at $1.0752 and 132.20 yen from $1.0727 and 132.15 yen.