November 28, 2018 / 3:04 AM / a year ago

Nikkei rises to more than 2-week high; Line extends rally

* Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma jumps after lawsuit resolved

* Higher freight charges lift shippers

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei rose on Wednesday morning to more than a two-week high, with Line Corp extending gains on its partnership deal with Mizuho Bank and Tencent and shippers rallying on higher freight charges.

Investors also held out hope of a possible de-escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The Nikkei share average climbed 0.9 percent to 22,148.26 at the midday break after touching 22,176.98, the highest level since Nov. 12.

The Japanese market took heart from a rise in U.S. shares overnight, with all three of Wall Street indexes reversing losses after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart on Saturday was an opportunity to “turn the page” on a trade war. He also held open the possibility that the two countries would reach a trade deal.

“Pessimistic views regarding the U.S.-China trade war are receding as there seems to be room to reach a deal,” said Masahiro Yamaguchi, senior market analyst at SMBC Trust Bank.

“The worst case scenario would have been that there will be no dialogue between the two leaders so there seems to be no such risk now.”

Still, the market remained cautious in the wake of Trump’s comments this week to the Wall Street Journal that it was “highly unlikely” he would accept China’s request to hold off on a planned increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent.

There was no such reservations on chat app operator Line Corp, which surged as much as 5.3 percent to build on its 13 percent rally from Tuesday on news that it will set up a bank with Mizuho Financial Group Inc and also partner China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd to offer mobile payment services.

Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma jumped 16 percent to a level not seen since 1990 and was the biggest gainer on the board, after the drugmaker said all the disputes underlying its patent infringement lawsuit for its depression drug Latuda have been resolved.

Elsewhere, shippers outperformed after the baltic dry index , or freight charges, jumped 10 percent overnight. Mitsui OSK Lines gained 1.3 percent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha surged 1.9 percent and Nippon Yusen soared 2.5 percent.

The broader Topix added 0.3 percent to 1,648.35. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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