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Japanese Stocks Climb; Nissan Leads Carmakers' Gains on Upgrade‎

(Dow Jones)–Tokyo stocks rose Tuesday for the fourth straight session, as upgrades to Nissan Motor and Nomura Holdings helped lift the broader market.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 8.04 points, or 0.1%, to 9887.89 following Monday’s 1.8% rise. The index has now risen 4.8% during its latest winning streak.

The Topix index of all the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section issues also rose 0.27 point to 878.83.

Trading volume was relatively light for the second straight session, however, totaling 1.54 billion shares.

On the Osaka Securities Exchange, the Nikkei 225 September futures contract ended down 40 points, or 0.4%, at 9840. Less than 37,000 contracts were traded as investors remain risk-averse.

“Low volume is the best indication that the market is worried,” said Jamie Coutts, a technical analyst at BGC Securities.

Stocks opened lower on profit-taking amid lingering concerns about a global economic slowdown following Moody’s downgrade of Greece’s government bond rating to junk status. But the net impact was viewed as limited at best, according to Masatoshi Sato, senior strategist at Mizuho Investors Securities. He said the credit rating agency’s action was no real surprise.

The market turned positive after the midday break, and stayed mostly in positive territory for the duration of the session, supported by gains in other Asian markets and higher U.S. stock futures. With participation levels low and broad buying incentives few, select share upgrades were enough to deliver a bullish net result.

Auto stocks helped stave off late profit-taking after Macquarie Securities upgraded Nissan to Outperform from Neutral, citing near-term risks to the China car market as exaggerated, and the resulting pricing in of a substantial shortfall to consensus earnings forecasts.

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