June 7, 2018 / 2:43 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei rises to more than 2-week high; non-ferrous metal stocks rally

TOKYO, June 7 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to more than two-week highs on Thursday morning to stay above a key technical level as it tracked Wall Street gains overnight, while non-ferrous metal stocks staged a rally after copper prices soared.

The Nikkei gained 0.8 percent to 22,815.43 in midmorning trade, hitting as high as a two-week high of 22,839.41 earlier, comfortably trading above its 25-day moving average of 22,579.88.

U.S. stocks rallied overnight with help from financial stocks as investors eyed strong economic data while the Nasdaq posted its third straight record closing high.

Meanwhile, analysts said that investors are focused on Friday’s settlement of Nikkei futures and options contracts expiring in June.

“The market is focused on whether the Nikkei futures and options will settle above 23,000... it looks positive as the Nikkei has traded above a key technical line,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. “If they settle above that level, the next resistance will likely be at 23,200.”

The nonferrous metal sector surged 1.5 percent and was the second best sectoral board after copper hit a 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday as concerns lingered over possible supply disruptions in Chile.

Sumitomo Metal Mining surged 3.4 percent, Mitsui Mining & Smelting soared 2.4 percent.

Copper has risen nearly 4 percent this week after the union at BHP’s, Escondida mine in Chile, the world’s largest, said on Friday it had started the latest round of wage negotiations.

Other winners included tech shares such as high-purity silicon maker Sumco Corp surging 2.6 percent, and TDK Corp gaining 2.2 percent.

On the flip side, mining stocks weakened after oil prices fell on Wednesday on worries that global supply is climbing, before shaking off some of the losses during Asian trade.

Inpex Corp was flat, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co declined 1.0 percent.

The broader Topix advanced 0.6 percent to 1,788.29.

Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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