July 11, 2017 / 3:09 AM / a year ago

Nikkei edges up on weaker yen; tech shares follow Nasdaq gains

* Seiko Epson soars as it will be added to Nikkei 225

* Suzuki Motor falls on Dutch investigation

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, July 11 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged up on Tuesday morning, as a weaker yen supported many export-oriented stocks, while tech shares attracted buyers on the back of the strong Nasdaq performance overnight.

The Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 20,126.30 in mid-morning trade.

Panasonic Corp and Hitachi Ltd both gained 0.6 percent after the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 technology index rose overnight on expectations for brisk earnings. Technology companies are expected to post some of the strongest earnings growth figures for the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Overall sentiment was positive, as the dollar comfortably stayed above 114 yen after climbing to a two-month high of 114.300 overnight as the Bank of Japan’s offer last week to buy an unlimited amount of bonds drew investors’ focus to the divergent monetary policy outlook between the BOJ and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The spread between 10-year Treasury and JGB yields is the widest it has been in two months, contributing to the dollar’s strength against the yen.

Market analysts said that investors are likely to continue to take heart from the weak yen for now, while strength in tech shares is expected to support the Nikkei benchmark index.

“While Japanese exporters expect much lower dollar-yen assumptions, the current currency levels raise hopes for better Japan Inc earnings,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities.

He also said that there is demand for growth shares and commodity-related stocks globally, and the Japanese market is following this trend, citing strong performance among resource giants like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Freeport-McMoRan.

“Strength in these stocks indicate a pick up in global demand, which helps appetite for Japanese stocks as well,” Kuramochi said.

Meanwhile, ink jet printer and watch maker Seiko Epson Corp soared to 2-1/2-year highs after Nikkei Inc said it would add the company’s stock to the benchmark Nikkei 225 average .N225, replacing scandal-hit Toshiba Corp, which fell 2.0 percent.

Elsewhere, Suzuki Motor Corp fell as much as 4.1 percent early on Tuesday after Dutch prosecutors said they would investigate the automaker’s possible misuse of vehicle emissions software.

The broader Topix rose 0.3 percent to 1,620.94.

Editing by Sam Holmes

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