By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Japan stocks rallied the most in two weeks on Wednesday, as strong corporate earnings results helped push the markets higher.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.44% climbed 2%, marking its biggest percentage increase since two weeks ago. The broader Topix /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +1.30% added 1.8%.
The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0298% was little changed against the dollar at ¥117.37 from ¥117.33 at previous stock close.
Japan’s largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 -0.26% surged 5.2%, after reporting a 18% year-on-year jump in profit for the nine-month period through December.
Video game developer Capcom Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202399938/delayed JP:9697 +0.24% soared 6.9%, as its April-to-December profit climbed 10% despite a fall in revenues.
Other top gainers included Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company, Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208507587/delayed JP:8750 +0.74% , spiking 6.8%, and Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 +0.53% , rising 3.9%.
However, electronics giant Sharp Corporation /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +3.61% tumbled 4.5%, after posting a net loss in the April-December period and also expected to see a net loss for the full year. Rival Panasonic Corporation /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +1.47% declined 2%, as its quarterly profit was below the year-earlier level.
Other major Asian markets mostly advanced, as Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.40% improved by 1.2%, Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.89% tacked on 0.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.27% finished 0.5% higher.
However, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.98% bucked the trend and declined 1%.