LEAD: Tokyo stocks up in morning on U.S. shares rise, Jan. machinery data.
(EDS: ADDING INFO)
Tokyo stocks rose Friday morning following gains in U.S. shares overnight in New York and better-than-expected Japanese machinery orders in January.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 55.28 points, or 0.32 percent, in the morning to 17,145.59. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 7.04 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,728.00.
The Tokyo market got off to a strong start after the gains in New York stocks overnight and the strong Japanese machinery data released shortly before the opening.
Market players were ''encouraged to buy stocks after seeing the rise in U.S. stocks and the release of Japan's good data'' which helped revive their confidence in the outlook for the Japanese economy, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, managing director at Bear Stearns (Japan,) Ltd.
Core Japanese private-sector machinery orders rose a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent in January from the previous month to 1,097.7 billion yen, the government said. The figure was well above the 1.1 percent rise projected in a Kyodo News survey.
In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68.25 points, or 0.56 percent, to 12,260.70. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.09 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,387.73.
Brokers said the market was also buoyed as the dollar's rise to the lower 117 yen level led export-oriented automaker and high-tech issues to perform strongly.
Despite the improved market sentiment, the upside of Tokyo shares was limited as investors remained still cautious after the global stock plunges last week, with some of them locking in profits before the weekend, Kuramochi said.
Export-focused high-tech issues, such as Sony and Canon, gained ground, with Sony rising 160 yen, or 2.67 percent, to 6,150 yen and Canon advancing 140 yen, or 2.27 percent, to 6,300 yen.
Other major advancing stocks were credit card, securities, and real estate issues, while paper and pulp, warehouse, and fishery, agriculture and forestry issues were the notable losers.
Nikko Cordial moved up 13 yen to 1,381 yen after media reports that the Tokyo Stock Exchange will likely postpone a decision to delist Japan's third-biggest brokerage until at least Monday.
On the other hand, scandal-hit Fujiya remained sluggish, losing 7 yen, or 2.37 percent, to 288 yen.
On the First Section, advancing issues beat declining ones 909 to 699 with 122 shares ending the morning unchanged.
Nippon Steel was the most heavily traded issue in terms of value and volume, falling 5 yen to 886 yen.
Due to the fixing of special quotations for settling March index futures and options contracts, trading volume on the main section expanded to 2,067.76 million shares from Thursday morning's 1,131.71 million shares.
The TSE's Second Section index edged up 11.40 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,248.95 on a volume of 33.82 million shares. On the Osaka Securities Exchange, the near-term June Nikkei 225 index futures contract rose 70 points to 17,090.