January 11, 2017 / 2:48 AM / 2 years ago

Nikkei edges up, investors cautious before Trump's news conference

* Nikkei up for 1st time in 4 days

* Toshiba soars on hopes creditors offer support

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged up on Wednesday morning but trading is expected to be subdued ahead of a much-anticipated press conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump later in the day.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.4 percent to 19,382.39 in midmorning trade, after falling for the past three days.

“Investors are cautiously focused on Trump’s potentially market-moving speech,” said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Trump’s news conference - his first since winning the election in November - will be held later in the global day.

Fujito said many investors are focused on Trump’s promises to provide more stimulus and cut taxes to boost U.S. growth, while there is also anxiety on his protectionist stance.

“If he points his finger at a specific Japanese company again, Japanese stocks may get hit so investors are staying on the sidelines today,” Fujito said, referring to Trump’s threat on Toyota Motor Corp last week over the automaker’s Mexico manufacturing plan.

Trump has criticised U.S. companies like General Motors and Ford Motor Co which manufacture abroad, accusing them of costing U.S. jobs. On Thursday he took on Toyota, warning the world’s largest automaker that it would face a “big border tax” if it exported Mexico-built cars to the U.S. market.

Exporters were mixed, with Toyota gaining 0.6 percent, while Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co were almost flat. Panasonic Corp advanced 1.2 percent.

Toshiba Corp jumped 6.5 percent after sources said that Toshiba’s creditors agreed to support the company, giving the troubled firm time to work out a turnaround plan.

The broader Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,550.41 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.5 percent to 13,885.67.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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