Nikkei inches up on Wall St gains and upbeat data, election caution caps buying

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei inches up on Wall St gains and upbeat data, election caution caps buying
Credit: © Reuters.

* Nikkei rises 0.2 pct, stays in range of 25-month peak

* Wall St rise, upbeat BOJ tankan and weaker yen supports

* Caution towards Oct. 22 general election caps gains

* Nissan drops after saying unqualified workers conducted checks

* Technology shares lifted by gains in U.S. peers

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Monday, buoyed by Wall Street's increases and upbeat domestic data, although caution towards an upcoming general election limited gains.

The Nikkei .N225 ended Monday 0.2 percent higher at 20,400.78.

The index rose to a 25-month high of 20,481.27 on Sept. 21 as the yen weakened against the dollar following hawkish monetary policy hints from the Federal Reserve. While North Korea concerns have helped capped the index, it has managed to stay close to that peak.

Of Tokyo's 33 sub indexes, 15 rose, led by the precision machinery sector's .IPRCS.T 0.45 percent gain. The losers were led by sea transport .ISHIP.T , which fell 0.9 percent.

"The market drew support from three factors: stronger U.S. stocks, continuing ebb in strong yen concerns and the upbeat tankan," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mistui Asset Management.

The S&P 500 .SPX and the Nasdaq .IXIC advanced to record levels on Friday while the Bank of Japan's "tankan" survey released on Monday showed the mood among big domestic manufacturers reach a decade high. .N the other hand, uncertainty towards how the political situation develops ahead of the election is a negative factor. The equity market will be watching how currencies respond and what kind of policies are brought up as agendas," Ichikawa said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week dissolved the parliament's lower house and called a snap election for Oct. 22.

Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was initially expected to win the election with relative ease. An easy win, however, is looking less assured with popular Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike forging an alliance of opposition parties to challenge the LDP.

Shares of Nissan Motor Co 7201.T dropped as much as 5.3 percent to their lowest since April 28 after the automaker said on Friday that it is unable to sell 60,000 new vehicles made in Japan as checks had been conducted by unqualified inspectors. shares drew a lift from gains by their U.S. counterparts. Electrical equipment maker Yaskawa Electric Corp 6506.T rose 1.55 percent, factory automation machinery maker Fanuc Corp 6954.T added 2.15 percent and Hitachi Ltd 6501.T gained 1.3 percent.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co 4528.T advanced 3.2 percent amid speculation that a researcher that took part in developing Ono's cancer treating drug Opdivo could win a Nobel prize this week.

Bookseller Bunkyodo Group Holdings 9978.T also received a Nobel-related lift, rising 0.9 percent, on expectations that novelist Haruki Murakami, a perennial favourite for the literature prize, would finally win this year.

Godo Steel Ltd 5410.T rose 8.7 percent after the steel manufacturer revised up its April-September net profit forecast to 2 billion yen ($17.75 million) from 700 million yen. Co 2685.T shed 7.4 percent after the clothing retailer revised down its net profit forecast for the year through February 2018 to 11.0 billion yen from 11.9 billion yen following lacklustre sales of summer items.

The broader Topix .TOPX inched down 0.05 percent to 1,673.62. ($1 = 112.7000 yen)

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Nikkei 225

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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