Nikkei rises after GDP contraction not as bad as expected
* Investors shy away from cyclical shares due to China risk - analysts
* Market relieved that Japan GDP slump not as bad as expected
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Monday morning on relief the contraction in the world's third-largest economy was not as bad as the market had expected.
The Nikkei share average gained 0.6 percent to 20,650.93 in midmorning trade after falling 0.9 percent last week.
Japan's economy shrank at an annualised pace of 1.6 percent in April-June as exports slumped and consumers cut back on spending. But the GDP contraction was shallower than a median market forecast of a 1.9 percent fall.
"There are concerns about consumption, but there are also slight expectations that the government may launch further economic support measures and today's market gains reflect that," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
Analysts say that China's economic slowdown and its impact on its Asian neighbours have also heightened the chance that any rebound in growth in July-September will be modest.
Last week, global markets, including Japan, were rattled after China devalued its currency. Continuación...