Nikkei inches up on Wall Street rise, takes China data in stride
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO Oct 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average inched up on Wednesday, taking cues from a bounce by Wall Street shares, with the market taking China's growth data in stride since they were roughly in line with expectations.
The Nikkei was up 0.3 percent at 17,007.24 points, ensconced in a tight range through the session.
"All three Wall Street indexes rebounded overnight and crude oil prices are rising, and these are supportive factors for the market," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
Wall Street advanced on Tuesday to give the S&P 500 its best day this month on the heels of solid earnings reports from names such as UnitedHealth and Netflix.
"On the other hand, steady selling pressure around the 17,000 threshold is preventing a further advance and keeping the Nikkei in range," Ichikawa said.
China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, steady from the previous quarter and in line with market expectations, as increased government spending and a property boom offset stubbornly weak exports.
Shares of Sharp Corp rose 9.2 percent following a report that the company expects to post an operating profit of about 40 billion yen this fiscal year helped by cost cuts and a withdrawal from its loss-making North American TV business.
Other big gainers included food processor Maruha Nichiro Corp which rose as much as 6.7 percent after the Nikkei said its April-September operating profit likely doubled from a year earlier, helped as a stronger yen reduced import costs. Continuación...