TOKYO, July 23 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged higher on Tuesday morning, with the semiconductor sector leading the gains, tracking Wall Street moves, though trading remained thin ahead of the domestic earnings season for the April-June quarter.
The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 1.0% to 21,622.78 in late morning trade, its highest level in a week.
Overnight, U.S. S&P 500 climbed 0.3%, a shade below its July 15 record high close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.7%.
Chip stocks gained partly on news that U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at a meeting with the heads of top technology companies to make “timely” decisions on requests by U.S. companies to sell to China’s Huawei Technologies.
Taking their cues from Wall Street peers, Japan’s chip sector drove gains with Tokyo Electron climbing 2.4%, while Advantest and Disco gained 1.7% and 2.0%, respectively.
Apple-related electronic parts makers were also in demand after the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple Inc was in advanced talks to buy chipmaker Intel Corp’s smartphone-modem chip business, citing sources.
Murata Manufacturing Co, TDK Corp and Alps Alpine advanced 3.0%, 2.5% and 2.6%, in that order.
Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp jumped 4.2% after Fox Business reported U.S. regulators have signalled that they are about to give green light to the postponed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp.
The broader Topix added 0.8% to 1.568.58.
Japan’s April-June quarter corporate earnings season will get underway later this week. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)