Shares in Olympus continued their dramatic decline even as easing concerns over the eurozone debt crisis helped push the Tokyo market to a six-week high.
The camera and precision instrument maker’s stock fell a further 24 per cent to a 2½-year low of Y1,555 – taking their slide over the past two sessions to 37 per cent – following the dismissal of its chief executive on Friday. Trading volume was more than 30 times the daily average.
Michael Woodford, who had been in the role for barely two weeks, raised questions about more than $1bn of payments made by the company in a series of acquisitions between 2006 and 2008.
The broader market pushed higher amid expectations that eurozone policymakers would unveil a decisive plan to tackle the debt crisis at an EU summit this weekend. However, turnover was extremely low, suggesting an underlying mood of caution.
The Nikkei 225 Average rose 1.5 per cent to 8,879.60, its highest close since the start of September. The broader Topix index gained 1.8 per cent to 761.88.
Exporters were broadly higher as investors took heart from the improved sentiment towards the eurozone and a steadier tone to the yen. Sony rose 5 per cent to Y1,607 and Nintendo added 3.2 per cent to Y12,120.
Most other markets in the region regained their upward momentum after slipping back on Friday, with the FTSE Asia-Pacific index climbing 1.9 per cent to its highest point for a month.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 2 per cent to 18,873.99, although lingering concerns about the outlook for the Chinese economy kept turnover sluggish.
Companies with heavy exposure to Europe saw their shares outperform. Clothing retailer Esprit leapt 7.9 per cent to HK$12.52 while Hutchison Whampoa, which operates ports in Spain and Germany, gained 3.4 per cent to HK$71.75.
In Shanghai, the Composite index edged up 0.4 per cent 2,440.40.
Elsewhere, the weighted index in Tapei rose 1.4 per cent to 7,461.12, with foreign investors net buyers for a seventh successive session. The Kospi in Seoul climbed 1.6 per cent to 1,865.18 and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index added 1.7 per cent to 4,275.4.