November 12, 2018 / 3:12 AM / a year ago

Nikkei edges up in choppy trade, Wall Street weakness limits gains

* Futures buying seen at level around 22,000 - analyst

* Mitsui Fudosan soars after raising forecast

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei ticked up in a choppy Monday morning as investors scooped up cheap stocks, but gains were contained by weakness on Wall Street and falling U.S. tech shares.

The Nikkei share average edged up 0.1 percent to 22,268.45 in midmorning trade after opening lower. The benchmark index fell to as low as 22,046.29, but traders said that futures buying supported the market.

“Investors are buying on the dip today, while futures buying seemed to have kicked in when the index neared the 22,000 level,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Analysts also said that a modestly softer yen also supported sentiment.

Overall, however, they said investors remained cautious as the U.S. Federal Reserve looked set to deliver another rate hike in December, while fresh signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy kept equities under pressure on Monday.

Domestic demand sensitive stocks outperformed, with food, drug and land transport firms rising. Ajinomoto gained 0.8 percent, NH Foods advanced 2.4 percent, Takeda Pharmaceutical added 1.1 percent and East Japan Railway jumped 1.0 percent.

Tech shares underperformed after the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index fell 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 1.7 percent. Advantest Corp dived 5.8 percent and TDK Corp shed 3.6 percent.

Elsewhere, Mitsui Fudosan rallied 3.6 percent after the realtor raised its net profit forecast to 163 billion yen from 153 billion yen for the year ending March 2019 thanks to strong condo sales.

The broader Topix was up 0.1 percent to 1,674.08. Advancing issues slightly outnumbered declining ones 1,032 to 1,000. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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