* SoftBank plan gives Nikkei a hefty boost
* Dealers look to weak yen for gains through end-2016
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Dec 7 Japan's Nikkei share average rose
on Wednesday morning after U.S. shares extended their gains,
bouyed by index-heavyweight SoftBank after it announced a bold
investment foray into U.S. businesses.
SoftBank rose as much as 5.1 percent after Chief Executive
Masayoshi Son said he would invest $50 billion in U.S.
The Nikkei gained 0.3 percent to 18,418.16 in
midmorning trade. SoftBank contributed a hefty 31 points to the
Nikkei, or more than a third of the benchmark index's point
Nonetheless, traders said that because Japanese stocks had
risen so sharply since the U.S. elections last month,
profit-taking could kick in at any time.
"It looks hard to maintain this short-term rally," said
Mitsushige Akino, a chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset
Management, adding that most of the big gains are coming from
such index-heavy stocks such as Fast Retailing Co which
rose 2.0 percent, as well as Softbank.
Financials and exporters were higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group rising 1.7 percent, Mizuho Financial
Group adding 1.6 percent, Toyota Motor Corp
gaining 1.2 percent, Honda Motor Co adding 1.5 percent
and Panasonic Corp up 2.8 percent.
Drug manufacturers were sold, with Takeda Pharmaceutical
falling 0.8 percent and Eisai Co dropping 0.7
The dollar was steady at 113.990 yen after inching up
about 0.2 percent overnight following a modest rise in U.S. bond
Traders said that for the next few weeks through end-2016,
hopes that Japanese exporters' earnings will be lifted by a
weaker yen should support market sentiment.
"We see that the Nikkei testing its year highs toward the
end of year is possible, as the market welcomes the current
dollar-yen levels," said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa
The broader Topix gained 0.3 percent to 1,482.12 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.3 percent to
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)