Nikkei jumps over 2 pct after strong U.S. data; G20 in focus

Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:35pm EST

* Market upbeat as Wall Street shrugs off weak China survey
    * Chugai Pharma jumps after Citigroup raises rating
    * G20, discussion on Fed tapering impact in focus

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average jumped more
than 2 percent on Friday, recouping most of the previous day's
losses, as investors took heart from gains on Wall Street after
a reading on U.S. manufacturing hit its highest in nearly four
years.
    The Nikkei was up 2.2 percent at 14,765.67 in
midmorning trade, moving closer to a 2-1/2-week high of
14,900.24 hit on Tuesday. The benchmark had fallen 2.2 percent
the previous day, hit by a weak Chinese survey.
    Analysts said investors had shifted their attention back to
U.S. growth from the Chinese economy as the U.S. market shrugged
off the China flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index,
which fell to a seven-month low in February.
    U.S. factory activity accelerated at its fastest pace in
nearly four years in February, according to Markit's preliminary
U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index released on
Thursday. 
    "Investors realised that they overreacted to the China
survey yesterday," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst
at Daiwa Securities. "But we may not see further rises from here
as people do not want to hold large positions before the
weekend."
    Sato added that market participants were awaiting the
outcome of the Group of 20 finance chiefs' meeting in Sydney
this weekend, at which finance ministers and central bank chiefs
are expected to discuss the impact on emerging markets from the
U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering.
    Shares of exporters were strong, with Advantest Corp
 rising 3.4 percent and Panasonic Corp adding
3.2 percent.
    The dollar added about 0.1 percent to 102.33 yen,
moving further away from the previous session's low of 101.65
yen and back towards a two-week high of 102.73 yen hit on
Tuesday. 
    Chugai Pharmaceutical Co, a subsidiary of Swiss
drugmaker Roche Holding AG, soared 3.5 percent after
Citigroup raised its rating to "buy" from "neutral", citing
likely strong sales of Roche's trial-stage cancer treatment drug
called MPDL3280A.
    The Topix added 1.9 percent to 1,194.56, with all of
its 33 subsectors in positive territory.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, an index launched this
year comprising firms with high returns on equity and strong
corporate governance, gained 1.8 percent to 11,002.70.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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