* Automakers, electronics stocks gain
* Shimamura tumbles on weak monthly sales
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, May 24 Japan's Nikkei share average rose
on Wednesday morning helped by exporters after the dollar gained
against the yen, while financials gained ground thanks to a rise
in U.S. Treasury yields.
The Nikkei rose 0.4 percent to 19,698.31 in
Wall Street's strength lifted the mood in the Tokyo market.
While Tuesday's U.S. economic data was weak, investors were
relieved that U.S. President Donald Trump's first full budget
plan was largely as expected, even if it is not expected to be
approved in Congress.
"The Japanese market hasn't recovered from a recent drop
when it was sold on U.S. turmoil. There is room to rise as long
as U.S. stocks are strong," said Masaru Hamasaki, head of market
and investment information department at Amundi Japan.
The Nikkei rose to a 17-month high of 19,998.49 on May 16
supported by the weakening yen, but two days later, it dropped
more than 500 points on fears that allegations against Trump
over his interference with a federal investigation would
destabilise his presidency and delay his efforts on tax cuts and
Traders said that while investors are cautiously focused on
developments on U.S. political issues, U.S. stocks' resilience
helps recover investors' risk appetite.
The dollar rose 0.15 percent at 111.945 yen, its
highest in a week, helping such exporters as Honda Motor Co
, Tokyo Electron Ltd and Advantest Corp
, each rising 1.8 percent, 1.9 percent and 1.7 percent.
Banks and insurers, which invest in higher yielding
financial products, were in demand. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
Group rose 1.0 percent, Mizuho Financial Group
added 0.8 percent and T&D Holdings surged 1.7 percent.
Bucking the trend, discount apparel chain Shimamura Co
dived more than 10 percent and was the second biggest
loser on the board after posting weak monthly sales in May.
The broader Topix added 0.4 percent to 1,571.80 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.4 percent to
(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)