April 3, 2019 / 2:26 AM / 2 months ago

Nikkei rises on U.S.-China trade talk optimism; Fast Retailing soars

* Fast Retailing adds 92 positive points to Nikkei

* Renewed optimism on U.S.-China trade talks lifts mood

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, April 3 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei rose on Wednesday morning buoyed by optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, while index-heavyweight Fast Retailing soared after it reported a strong monthly same-store sales.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.7 percent to 21,647.13 in midmorning trade.

Ninety-two points of the Nikkei’s advance came from Fast Retailing Co, which soared 4.8 percent after it said on Tuesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo clothing outlets in Japan rose 4.5 percent in March from a year earlier.

Japanese media reports that the operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain will raise starting salaries for new hires in Japan by more than 20 percent from April next year also helped the share. (here)

The Financial Times reported that top U.S. and Chinese officials have resolved most of the issues standing in the way of a deal to end their long-running trade dispute but are still haggling over how to implement and enforce the agreement, citing people briefed on the talks. (here)

The report came on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s that the trade talks with China were going very well.

“The market is supported by hopes that the both sides will land some kind of agreement,” said Hiroyuki Ueno, a senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.

But he said that investors are reluctant to take positions aggressively this month as they want to wait to see Japanese companies’ annual results which will start to come out in May.

Cyclical stocks such as machinery and shippers surged. Fanuc Corp advanced 2.8 percent, Komatsu Ltd rose 1.7 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines jumped 3.3 percent.

The broader Topix rose 0.5 percent to 1,618.60. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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