Japanese shares up 0.48 percent by lunch

TOKYO, Aug 13, 2007 (AFP) – Japanese share prices rose 0.48 percent in morning trade Monday after Wall Street staged a late recovery Friday, although investors remained nervous about US mortgage problems, dealers said. Mizuho Financial Group fell 1,000 yen or 0.1 percent to 706,000, but Shinsei Bank rose five yen or 1.3 percent to 395 and Aozora Bank climbed five yen or 1.3 percent to 392. Dealers said some market players opted to book profits after sharp recent falls caused by concern about the US “subprime” housing market — or loans to customers with patchy credit histories.

The market also felt increasingly confident after Japan’s central bank said Monday it would pump another 600 billion yen (5.0 billion dollars) into the money market, on top of a one-trillion-yen injection on Friday.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares was up 80.50 points at 16,844.59 by the lunch break, after plunging 2.37 percent Friday to a near five-month low.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 0.63 points or 0.04 percent to 1,634.56.

Gaining shares outnumbered decliners 927 to 724, with 66 issues unchanged.

The volume traded was estimated at 1.40 billion sha