By Tomo Uetake
SYDNEY, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rallied to more than 10-month highs on Wednesday as a weaker yen lifted bluechip exporters, while chipmaking-related stocks advanced, taking their cue from Wall Street peers.
The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 climbed 1.2% to 22,472.92, its highest close since Dec. 3, having gaided 1.9% gains on Tuesday. The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.7% to 1,631.51, also closing at its highest in more than 10 months.
Overnight, the Japanese yen hit a 2-1/2 month low of 108.90 yen JPY= against the greenback as investors flocked to riskier assets on hopes of an orderly British exit from the European Union.
Officials and diplomats involved in negotiations over the acrimonious divorce between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc said that differences over the terms of the split had narrowed significantly. auto and car parts makers were in demand, with Toyota Motor Co 7203.T and Nissan Motor 7201.T rising 1.0% and 1.2%, respectively, while Bridgestone 5108.T gained 1.6%.
Chipmaking-related firms received a boost after the U.S. Philadelphia semiconductor index hit a record high and NVIDIA NVDA.O soared 5.3% on Tuesday. Tokyo, Advantest 6857.T rose 2.7%, Screen Holdings 7735.T jumped 2.9% and Tokyo Electron 8035.T added 1.4%.
"Apparently some investors are buying tech and machinery stocks in fear of being left behind the curve, without waiting for upcoming earnings results of those companies to confirm their optimism," said Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments.
Elsewhere, Unizo Holdings 3258.T surged 5.4% after private equity firm Blackstone (NYSE: BX ) BX.N ratcheted up its pursuit of the Japanese hotel operator by launching a 5,000-yen-per-share tender offer. the firm broader trend, East Japan Railway 9020.T fell 1.2% after the company said it would take at least a couple of weeks to fully repair damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis to its Hokuriku bullet train line.
Japan's start-up markets also fared worse, with the Mothers index .MTHR shedding 1.0% to a 1-1/2 month closing low of 836.40.
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