April 15, 2019 / 2:30 AM / 2 months ago

Japan stocks hit 4-month high on strong global equities, softer yen

* Nikkei, Topix advance to highest levels since early Dec

* Suzuki Motor sinks as vehicle recall bites

* Japan Display rallies; Chinese-Taiwanese group to take control

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average and the broader Topix both rose to four-month highs on Monday, boosted by a surge in global equities and a weaker yen.

The Nikkei climbed 1.4 percent to 22,183.10 as of 0200 GMT after touching 22,185.04, its highest since Dec. 4.

Japanese shares were lifted after the S&P 500 closed within one percent of September’s record high on Friday, buoyed by JPMorgan’s strong earnings.

“Japanese shares had long lagged their global counterparts but they are finally beginning to catch up,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

“U.S.-China trade concerns have receded, the Fed is no longer hiking rates and Brexit has been postponed, which all bodes well for risk assets. This prepares the way for foreign investors to begin buying undervalued Japanese shares again.”

Exporters such as automakers advanced as the yen struggled near a 1-1/2-month low against the dollar.

Nissan Motor Co added 0.95 percent, Honda Motor Co gained 1.1 percent and Toyota Motor Corp rose 0.65 percent.

Suzuki Motor Corp, on the other hand, was down 4 percent after the company flagged an extraordinary loss of 80 billion yen ($714.54 million) due to the recall of nearly 2 million cars related to improper vehicle inspections.

Japan Display jumped 2.5 percent following news that a Chinese-Taiwanese group will take control of the troubled display panel maker.

Vector Inc soared 9.5 percent after the public relations agency forecasts its operating profit will increase 40 percent in the year through February 2020.

On the other hand, employment agency DIP Corp tumbled 17 percent with the company expecting its recurring profit to sink 17.3 percent in the year through February 2020.

All 33 of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s subindexes were in positive territory, led by mining and insurance .

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,892 to 201.

The broader Topix was up 1.4 percent at 1,627.75 after going as high as 1,632.19, its strongest since Dec. 6. ($1 = 111.9600 yen) (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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