TOKYO , Jan. 31 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Tokyo stocks rose slightly Friday morning tracking an overnight rebound on Wall Street , but gains were limited as investors awaited a string of earnings announcements later in the day. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average went up 22.30 points, or 0.15 percent, from Thursday to end the morning at 15,029.36. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 6.46 points, or 0.53 percent, to 1,230.55. The market opened higher as investors were encouraged to scoop up recent decliners after U.S. stocks rebounded on data showing the U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the October to December quarter. The U.S. dollar's advance to the upper 102 yen range from the lower 102 yen zone seen the previous day in Tokyo also encouraged buying of export-oriented companies. The Nikkei rose more than 100 points soon after the opening but its gains narrowed later amid lingering concerns over emerging market turmoil. "Given the U.S. GDP report, the U.S. economy's solid growth was confirmed and investors' sentiment improved," Ayako Terada at Nomura Securities Co.'s investment research department said. Terada said the Nikkei is likely to solidify its downside at around the 15,000 threshold for a while. "It will be hard to make bold moves before the U.S. jobs report (for January due out Feb. 7 ) and until then, shares are likely to respond to each company's earnings news." A large number of companies, including Honda Motor and All Nippon Airways , are to announce their October-December earnings results later in the day, with more to follow next week. On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,153 to 476, while 150 finished the morning unchanged. One of the session's best performers was NEC, which jumped 35 yen , or 13 percent, to 305 yen following its announcement that it would sell its Internet service provider subsidiary NEC Biglobe Ltd. to an investment fund and book about 27 billion yen in extraordinary profit. Hino Motors went up 34 yen , or 2.3 percent, to 1,542 yen after reporting record group sales in the April-December period. On the other hand, Toshiba dropped 32 yen , or 6.9 percent, to 435 yen after reporting its group net profit for the April to December period fell nearly 30 percent. By sector, steel, utility and shipping issues advanced in particular, while warehousing and real estate issues lost ground.
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