* U.S. economic recovery hopes invite long-money to Japan -
* Nikkei poised to post biggest weekly gain in 2 months
* Trading thin as many markets closed for Easter
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, April 18 Japan's Nikkei share average
advanced on Friday after upbeat U.S. economic data and corporate
earnings bolstered investors' risk appetite.
The Nikkei was up 0.4 percent at 14,474.83 in
midmorning trade after ending flat at 14,417.53 the previous
day. For the week, the Nikkei has added 3.7 percent, and is
poised to post its biggest weekly rise in two months.
Market players said the Nikkei should stay resilient on
Friday, though trading volume may be subdued due to fewer
participants with many overseas markets closed for Easter.
"In the U.S., there is some stability now. Macro data has
been pretty good this week," said a senior trader at a foreign
He said that a selloff in U.S. tech shares, which rattled
not only the U.S. market but also Japanese stocks early this
month, may last longer. But he said recent stellar earnings
reports, including those from Morgan Stanley and General
Electric, have lifted investors' risk appetite for now.
"People overseas have been putting long-only money in Japan
in the last couple of days," he said.
The latest data showed the U.S. economy's health was
improving. The number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits rose less than expected in the latest
week. Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region expanded
in April at a faster clip than anticipated, according to a
survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Bellwether exporters were higher as the dollar traded at
102.43 yen, moving away from a three-week low of 101.32
yen. Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.1 percent, Sony Corp
added 0.7 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd
gained 1.9 percent.
Shiseido Co rose 1.3 percent after the cosmetics
maker raised its operating profit outlook for the fiscal year
that ended in March to 49.5 billion yen from 42.0 billion yen,
thanks to strong sales ahead of the consumption tax hike on
The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,171.61. The
new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.5 percent to
(Editing by Chris Gallagher)