* Nikkei close to last week’s 11-month highs
* Market sentiment lifted after Dow, S&P set records
* Pharma sector slumps after Trump vows to bring down drug prices
TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Thursday, fuelled by a further rise on Wall Street, but a stronger yen kept gains in check.
The Nikkei finished the morning up 0.8 percent at 18,649.03 points, nearing last week’s 11-month high.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 hit fresh records as equities continued their march upward after the last month’s vote for Donald Trump as U.S. president-elect.
Investors encouraged by Trump’s plans for economic stimulus and to reduce corporate taxes and regulations have pushed U.S. shares higher, though analysts and market participants are wary about how long the rally will last.
“The fizz has waned,” said Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.
“It’s dangerous to pick the top here. It’s hard to see how much people have capitulated on the upside, and my sense is that there’s still a lot of money on the sidelines.”
Hopes for U.S. stimulus and inflation-stoking policies from the Trump administration have also pushed up the dollar versus the yen, underpinning Japanese shares.
But the greenback’s rise has since paused, with the yen retaking a bit of lost ground on Thursday.
Japanese shares largely shrugged off surprisingly downbeat economic data earlier in the session.
The Cabinet Office slashed its economic growth reading for July-September, revising down initial estimates of capital expenditure and inventories.
Investors reported little impact from a brief delay in the opening of Nikkei 225 index futures. Singapore Exchange Ltd did not give a reason for the delay.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc soared 12.9 percent after a source said Japan will increase an interest-free loan related to its Fukushima costs.
Japan Display Inc initially gained after Nikkei reported that its factory in Hakusan city will begin mass producing smartphone display panels this month, but the stock was down 0.3 percent by midday.
Asahi Glass added 1.3 percent, after Nikkei said the company is moving forward with an acquisition of Thai plastics maker Vinythai.
On the losing side, the pharmaceuticals subindex of the Tokyo Stock Exchange drooped 1.5 percent, yanked down in line with U.S. shares after Trump vowed in a Time magazine article that he would “bring down drug prices.”
The broader Topix gained 0.8 percent to 1,502.31, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also added 0.8 percent to 13,449.08. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Kim Coghill)