* Automakers stage rally
* OPEC meeting, Italy’s referendum could trigger profit-taking - analyst
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for a sixth day on Thursday as prospects of exporters’ earnings improved after the dollar jumped against the yen, helping such stocks as Toyota and Honda.
Japanese markets were closed for a national holiday on Wednesday, and investors returned to the market on Thursday to see that the dollar rose as high as 112.98 yen on Wednesday, its loftiest peak since March. The dollar was bolstered by upbeat U.S. economic reports that raised the chances for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
The Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to 18,336.09 in mid-morning trade, extending its gains into a sixth day and is poised to post the longest winning streak since mid-July. Meanwhile, the Topix gained 0.9 percent to 1,460.27, rising for a 10th day.
“The Nikkei could rise further towards the end of the year, possibly above 19,000 depending on the dollar-yen and U.S. yield levels,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist and economist at Mizuho Securities.
But he cited that there is growing uncertainty over upcoming global events, which could be a turnaround of the current risk sentiment and trigger profit-taking.
He said that investors are closely focused on a meeting of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Nov. 30 as well as Italy’s referendum that could unseat Prime Minister Matteo Renzi early next month.
Automakers were in demand, with Toyota Motor Corp surging 3.3 percent, Honda Motor Co rising 3.0 percent and Nissan Motor Co up 2.4 percent.
Calsonic Kansei shares were untraded amid heavy buy orders after news U.S. buyout firm KKR & Co is buying the company from Nissan Motor and other shareholders for as much as 498.3 billion yen.
On the other hand, drugmakers dropped, with Takeda Pharmaceutical losing 0.9 percent, Astellas Pharma down 0.5 percent and Eisai Co tumbling 5 percent.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 1.0 percent to 13,108.94. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)