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Nikkei climbs to 6-week high on earnings optimism
May 2, 2017 / 2:35 AM / 8 months ago

Nikkei climbs to 6-week high on earnings optimism

* Tech-led rally on Wall Street lifts sentiment

* Concerns about North Korea remain in background

TOKYO, May 2 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to six-week highs on Tuesday in a holiday-shortened week, getting a lift from robust earnings and gains on Wall Street.

The Nikkei was up 0.6 percent in morning trade at 19,434.01.

Wall Street climbed on Monday, boosted by gains in Apple and other big technology stocks that more than offset weak U.S. economic data, and pushed the Nasdaq Composite to another record high.

Tokyo markets will be closed for three days from Wednesday for a string of holidays known as Golden Week.

“Trading today, as well as yesterday, is muted, due to the holidays,” said Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.

“People are processing earnings at the moment,” he said. “Other than the wall of worry that we have about regional tension and European politics, the underlying market sentiment through earnings is quite encouraging.”

While those worries were calmer on Tuesday, investors warily monitored developments in North Korea. On Monday, Pyongyang suggested it would continue its nuclear weapons tests, even as U.S. President Donald Trump opened the door to meeting the rogue nation’s leader.

In Europe, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron will face off against anti-European Union rightist Marine Le Pen in the runoff vote of France’s presidential election on Sunday, with Macron leading in polls.

Shares of Yamaha Corp jumped 16.5 percent, making it the top gainer in percentage terms on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after it posted robust earnings.

But Japan Display shares dropped 5.7 percent, making it the loss leader, after the smartphone screen maker cut its profit outlook for the past fiscal year.

Kyocera Corp shares were up 2.3 percent, rising to their highest since July 2015, after the comprehensive ceramic maker raised its outlook for this fiscal year.

The broader Topix added 0.7 percent to 1,549.85, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was up 0.6 percent at 13,845.19. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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