Company News

Nikkei reaches 2-month peak, boosted by U.S.-China trade talks

* Nikkei up 1.82 pct, brushes highest since Dec 18

* China-related shares up amid Sino-U.S. trade optimism

* Bridgestone surges on share buyback plan

* Energy-related stocks lifted as crude prices hit 3-month highs

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average advanced to a two-month peak on Monday, with investor risk appetite lifted by growing expectations that the latest Sino-U.S. talks would ease trade tensions between the two economic superpowers.

The Nikkei ended the day up 1.82 percent at 21,281.85 after brushing 21,306.36, its highest since Dec. 18.

The Tokyo market got a boost after Wall Street surged on Friday as the United States and China reported progress in five days of negotiations in Beijing last week. The two countries will resume talks this week in Washington.

“The market is in the process of gradually pricing in the possibility of the March 1 U.S.-China trade negotiation deadline being extended, led by bids from short-term participants,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

“Political risks still remain a threat, and each development in Washington has to be gauged carefully.”

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Companies that derive a large portion of their sales in China advanced. Industrial machinery maker Komatsu Ltd added 3.1 percent, robot maker Fanuc Ltd rose 2.9 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co jumped 4.6 percent.

Tyre maker Bridgestone Corp gained 4.9 percent after the company said it will buy back up to 200 billion yen ($1.81 billion), or 7.6 percent, of its outstanding stock through Dec. 23.

Restaurant chain operator Hotland Co rose 5.2 percent after the company forecast its 2019 operating profit would jump by 88.2 percent to 1.62 billion yen.

Energy-related shares gained as crude prices advanced to three-month highs. Refiners Showa Shell Sekiyu and Idemitsu Kosan Co rose 5.2 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. Petroleum and natural gas developer Inpex Corp advanced 3.6 percent.

Apartment construction and leasing company Leopalace 21 Corp tumbled 10.2 percent, falling for the sixth consecutive session. Leopalace shares have shed roughly 60 percent in value during the past six sessions, with the company being charged with construction code violations and posting losses related to repair costs.

All 33 subsectors of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) were in positive territory, led by oil and coal and rubber products.

The broader Topix rose 1.56 percent to 1,601.96. ($1 = 110.5100 yen) (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)