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Tokyo techs push Asia higher

Sony and other big exporters are higher in Friday trade.
Sony and other big exporters are higher in Friday trade.

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TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Japan is leading Asian stocks higher at midday Friday, with tech shares drawing strength from another winning session for Nasdaq in the United States.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 average is up 0.77 percent to 8440.01 at the end of the morning session, building on Thursday's 1.71 percent gain that took the index to a two-month high.

The broader capital-weighted Topix index is up 0.65 percent to 839.53.

Other Asian markets are also higher, though most gains are muted. Singapore and Taiwan are about half a percent higher, Australia is up 0.2 percent and South Korea and New Zealand are virtually flat.

The dollar is stronger, trading at 118.35 in midday Tokyo trade. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq closed Thursday near a one-year high, up 0.75 percent to 1574.95. But the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.93 percent to 8711.18. (Full story)

In Tokyo, consumer electronics leader Sony is up 2.58 percent to 3180 yen and rival Matsushita Electric Industrial is 3.43 percent higher at 1117 yen. Tech bellwethers Tokyo Electron and Advantest are up almost 2 percent.

Toshiba, up 3.4 percent, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi Electric are all moving ahead.

Automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda are all more than 1 percent higher. But market heavyweight NTT DoCoMo is down 0.4 percent to 255,000 yen.

Big banks are mixed, with UFJ unchanged, Mizuho just in the red, and slight gains for SMFG and MTFG. Resona is up 6 percent to 64 yen.

Mitsui Mining Co is down 35 percent at 52 yen after it posted a group net loss of 52.6 billion yen ($445.1 million) for the year to March.

SMFG said its corporate banking unit would help the Mitsui group firm with a restructure.

Fresh data released Friday shows the Japanese job market remains weak, with the jobless rate unchanged in April at 5.4 percent, just below its postwar high of 5.5 percent. (Full story)

In Seoul, the Kospi is up 0.04 percent to 632.82, with SK Telecom up slightly and a similarly small fall for market heavyweight Samsung Electronics.

Big exporter Hyundai Motor is unchanged at 29,000 won.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 is 0.17 percent higher at 3021.2, with gains for most of the big banks and resources leaders BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

But media group News Corp, the market's biggest stock, is down 1.6 percent to A$11.61. Telstra is flat at A$4.52.

Qantas Airways is up almost 1 percent to A$3.23. One of its planes was at the center of a dramatic mid-air incident Thursday in which a passenger attacked cabin crew before being subdued. He appeared in court Friday on attempted hijack charges.

In Taiwan, the Taiex is up 0.72 percent to 4575.79, with chip foundry TSMC almost 2 percent higher to T$53.00 on the strength of Nasdaq's bullish performance Thursday. UMC is up about 1.5 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times is 0.7 percent higher at 1353.85. Singapore Airlines and SingTel are both firmer, but DBS is flat at S$9.80.

New Zealand's Top 50 is 0.2 percent higher at 2088.93. Carter Holt Harvey and Air New Zealand are both unchanged.

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