Nikkei rises as weak yen trend continues, Wall St strength supports
* Profit-taking from steep rises may hit - analysts * U.S. economic strength helps sentiment By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose after U.S. shares rebounded overnight on a strong economic indicator, while continuing yen weakness buoyed exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp. The Nikkei share average rose 1.1 percent to 16,336.44 in mid-morning trade, just an inch away from its seven-year high of 16,364.08 marked last week. The benchmark fell for the past two sessions on profit-taking. "The market may stay strong as long as the dollar stays above 109.00 yen," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. But he added that there may be profit-taking at some point as the Nikkei has risen sharply over the short term. The index has soared nearly 6 percent since the beginning of this month. In the past week, the weakening yen drove exporter shares higher and swept the market near to levels last seen before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, before investors pocketed quick gains early this week. Also helping sentiment was data showing new U.S. home sales jumping sharply in August, easing concerns over the sector stemming from Monday's weak existing home sales report. The weak yen trend continued, with the greenback pushing the yen to reach 109.22 and looking set to re-test last week's six-year peak of 109.46. Exporters were in demand, with Toyota rising 1.7 percent, Panasonic climbing 1.0 percent and Fanuc Corp advancing 1.0 percent. The broader Topix rose 1.1 percent to 1,340.04, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.1 percent to 12,186.91. (Editing by Eric Meijer)
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