April 19, 2018 / 1:53 AM / a year ago

Nikkei hits 7-week high on relief over U.S.-Japan summit outcome

TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose to seven-week high on Thursday, with investors relieved that no new U.S. demands on trade came out of this week’s summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump and Abe said on Wednesday they had agreed to intensify trade consultations between the two countries but there was no mention of the yen or any concrete measures aimed at reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan.

By mid-morning, the Nikkei average rose 0.8 percent to 22,329 while the broader Topix gained 0.6 percent to 1,759.

“Investors who had held back buying before the summit started to buy,” said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities, adding that low trading volume this morning suggested investors were still cautious.

“Nothing has fundamentally changed on tariffs,” he said.

Still, steelmakers, shipping companies and non-ferrous metal firms — the worst performers since Trump announced steel and aluminium tariffs — led the gains, rising 2.9 percent, 1.6 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.

Strong U.S. earnings have also underpinned market sentiment.

Reporting by Hideyuki Sano Editing by Eric Meijer

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