Japanese stocks rose as the yen weakened for a second day, led by paper makers and airlines, while energy explorers dropped as crude oil neared a bear market.

The Topix index climbed 0.3 percent to 1,660.74 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, with almost three stocks rising for each that fell. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.4 percent to 20,677.39. The yen traded slipped 0.1 percent to 124.08 per dollar, after better-than-expected data on U.S. housing and a continuing commodity rout boosted the greenback. Stocks in the U.S. declined as poor earnings from technology companies dragged shares lower.

A report Wednesday indicated sales of existing U.S. homes climbed 3.2 percent to an eight-year high in June, while prices rose to a record. The data bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, lending strength to the dollar.

Crude oil neared a bear market as an unexpected increase in U.S. stockpiles exacerbated a supply glut. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 raw materials dropped 1.1 percent last session to the lowest since April 2002.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent after the underlying measure slipped 0.2 percent Wednesday.

Japanese government data showed exports in June rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier, less than the 10 percent expected by economists but still the highest reading since January. Imports fell 2.9 percent, less than the 4.3 percent decline estimated.

Source : Bloomberg