TOKYO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was flat on Friday morning as gains in commodities trading houses offset weakness in drugmakers, while Kobe Steel stumbled after it said senior executives were aware of data tampering.
The Nikkei .N225 was flat at 22,869.58 in midmorning trade. For the week, it has gained 1.4 percent so far, the biggest weekly percentage gain in more than a month.
The pharmaceutical sector .IPHAM.T tumbled 1.6 percent and was the worst performer on the board, after Eisai Co 4523.T dived more than 16 percent on news an Alzheimer drug it is jointly developing failed to meet its mid-stage trial goals. Pharmaceutical 4536.T stumbled 13.5 percent after it said on Thursday that the U.S. regulator's response to its application for intravitreal sirolimus indicated it would not be able approve the application in its present form. Steel Ltd 5406.T dropped more than 2 percent after the company admitted for the first time that executives were aware of the cheating, and reassigned three senior officials. the market were trading houses, with Itochu Corp 8001.T rising 1.6 percent and Sumitomo Corp 8053.T gaining 1.3 percent.
The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.3 percent to 1,827.35.
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