September 26, 2019 / 2:58 AM / 5 months ago

Japan shares rise on trade optimism, Topix touches 9-1/2-month high

TOKYO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Thursday, tracking an upbeat Wall Street session, as investors welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s hints of progress toward a trade deal with Beijing, with cyclical and China-related stocks leading the gains.

The benchmark Nikkei average gained 0.2% to 22,069.28 by the midday break, while the broader Topix advanced as much as 1.0% to 1,635.88, its highest level since Dec. 5, and the morning session up 0.4%.

President Trump stoked trade optimism on Wednesday by saying China wants “to make a deal very badly” and an agreement to end a nearly 15-month trade war with China “could happen sooner than you think.”

His comments pushed market concern about U.S. political risks into the background, a day after Democrat lawmakers said they will open an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with his Ukraine counterpart.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 notched its biggest daily gain in two weeks, while the Dow and the Nasdaq also advanced on Wednesday.

In Japan, highly cyclical sectors iron and steel and sea transport were among the best performing sectors of the bourse’s 33 subsector indexes, up 2.9% and 1.8%, respectively.

China-related issues led the gains, with Fanuc up 3.3%, Komatsu by 1.5% and Hitachi Construction Machinery advancing 1.1%.

The Tokyo market was not impacted by the limited trade deal Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed on Wednesday, which cuts tariffs on U.S. farm goods and Japanese machine tools while further staving off the threat of higher U.S. car duties.

Sino-U.S. talks remain the bigger concern for investors, analysts said. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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