January 10, 2017 / 2:53 AM / a year ago

Nikkei little changed, trim earlier losses amid U.S. policy hopes

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average was little changed on Tuesday, trimming earlier losses amid hopes that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump would provide stimulus-supportive hints at an upcoming news conference.

The Nikkei initially slipped as much as 0.4 percent on a combination of sagging Wall Street shares, a stronger yen and slumping crude oil prices before ending midday up 0.03 percent at 19,448.55.

Of Tokyo’s 33 sub-indexes, 14 were in the red. The banking and insurance sub-indexes were among those that suffered relatively steep losses after Wall Street’s financial stocks fell overnight to stall the Dow’s advance towards 20,000.

“Selling was limited ahead of Trump’s speech with the market first wanting to see what he has to offer. There are still hopes that Trump would provide support by hinting at stimulus measures,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday that will be his first since winning the November U.S. election.

Among individual shares, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd rose as much as 1.5 percent to an eight-month high after the company said it would buy U.S. cancer drug maker Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc in a deal valued at $5.2 billion to beef up its oncology pipeline.

Electronic component maker Rohm Co Ltd rose 4.7 percent after the company said it had developed a chip set for automotive LCDs equipped with the ability to identify internal malfunctions, thus potentially raising safety standards.

Michinoku Bank Ltd fell as much as 15.8 percent on share dilution fears after it said it will issue about 30.4 million stocks via a public offering to raise funds.

The broader Topix edged up 0.1 percent to 1,554.44 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.03 percent to 13,932.14. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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