November 27, 2018 / 6:23 AM / 16 days ago

Japanese stocks track Wall St higher, Line surges

* Nikkei up 0.64 percent, third straight day of gains

* LINE rallies on reports of alliances with Tencent, Mizuho Group

* Shippers lifted by surge in Baltic sea freight index

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks advanced on Tuesday, lifted by a rally on Wall Street and as a weaker yen supported exporters, although fresh concerns about U.S.-China trade tensions limited broader gains.

The Nikkei share average ended the day 0.64 percent higher at 21,952.40. The index brushed a two-week peak and posted its third session of gains. The broader Topix added 0.73 percent to 1,644.16.

The gains by Japanese stocks were relatively modest compared with the overnight rally on Wall Street, where the Dow climbed 1.46 percent and the Nasdaq added 2 percent.

“Given the gains by U.S. shares, the Nikkei could have gone higher but profit taking pressure is quite strong,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management. “The market won’t find confidence until the weekend U.S.-China summit is out of the way.”

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected to move ahead with tariffs increases on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

Trump, who is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend, said that if negotiations were unsuccessful, he would also put tariffs on the rest of Chinese imports.

Shares of chat application operator Line Corp outperformed, surging 12.9 percent.

Line rallied on reports that the company will tie up with Tencent Holdings Ltd to offer mobile payment services and that it will form a bank with Mizuho Financial Group Inc .

Technology shares were buoyed following an overnight surge by their U.S. counterparts. Tokyo Electron added 1.8 percent and Advantest Corp rose 2 percent.

Shipping companies gained after the Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rallied on higher demand for capesize vessel segments.

Mitsui OSK Lines rose 2 percent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha advanced 2.7 percent and Nippon Yusen gained 1.3 percent. The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) sea transport sub-index was up 1.7 percent.

Automakers rose as the yen remained near a two-week low versus the dollar, which helps Japan’s export competitiveness. Toyota Motor Corp climbed 1.7 percent, Honda Motor Co advanced 1.4 percent and Mazda Motor Corp gained 1.6 percent.

Nomura Holdings Inc was up roughly 0.5 percent after the firm said it will cancel 4.1 percent of its outstanding stock on Dec. 17.

Of TSE’s 33 sub-indexes, 31 ended the day in positive territory.

Editing by Sam Holmes

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