Nikkei rises for 13th day helped by better shareholder returns
* Amount of share buyback by firms rose for 3rd year in April-May - Nomura * NTT Docomo soars to over 10-year high on report for higher ROE * Japan Tobacco falls after Canadian court orders to pay C$2 bln By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose for a 13th day on Tuesday as expectations for better shareholder returns continued to support the market, while the weak yen lifted exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.2 percent to 20,596.65 points by mid-morning trade, continuing to hover near 15-year highs. If the index ends higher, it will post 13 consecutive days of gains, the longest winning streak since February 1988. The Nikkei has gained 5.1 percent in the past 12 days. Further buying of exchange traded funds by the Bank of Japan also supported the market. The central bank bought 36.1 billion yen worth of ETFs on Monday. Investors said that while they expect imminent profit-taking given the recent rises, the Japanese market will likely stay resilient in June. "Japanese companies are highly regarded, especially their investor-friendly attitudes," said Jun Yunoki, a strategist at Nomura Securities. According to the brokerage, a total of 168 companies announced share buyback plans in April and May, and the total amount was 1.468 trillion yen, which rose for the third straight year. Yunoki added that the market will stay focused on corporate governance issues in June when companies have shareholder meetings. NTT Docomo Inc gained 4.4 percent to a more than 10 year high after the Nikkei reported that the company plans a double-digit return on equity by fiscal 2017. Exporters gained ground after the dollar moves closer to 125.00 yen, fresh highs in over 12 years. Toyota added 0.7 percent, Fuji Heavy Industries soared 1.6 percent and Nissan Motor Co gained 1.5 percent. Bucking the strength, Japan Tobacco Inc dropped 2.0 percent after a Canadian court ordered the company to pay C$2 billion in damages to smokers. The broader Topix was flat at 1,678.92 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 15,155.76. (Editing by Kim Coghill)
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