Japan stocks end higher on trade hopes, talk of fiscal spending

TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday on growing expectations the United States and China are nearing an agreement to scale back their bruising trade war.

The Nikkei index closed up 0.28% at 23,437.77, with advancers in the IT sector and industrial equipment sector pacing gains. So far this year, the index is up 16.78%.

Japanese shares extended gains, in line with a rally in equities globally, after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Washington was in the “final throes” of work on a deal that would defuse a 16-month trade war with Beijing.

Trump’s optimistic comments came one day after top negotiators from the two countries spoke by telephone and agreed to keep working on remaining issues.

“This type of risk-on mood will continue into next year,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co in Tokyo.

“The U.S. economy is doing well. Japan is leaning toward more fiscal stimulus. We also have more indications that the U.S. and China will reach a trade agreement.”

Domestically, Japanese stocks also drew support from the growing chance of extra fiscal stimulus. A senior ruling party official on Wednesday said he believes the government is striving to compile a stimulus spending package worth around 10 trillion yen ($92 billion).

Japanese politicians have been calling for more fiscal spending to revive slowing growth.

There were 150 advancers on the Nikkei index against 72 decliners on Wednesday.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker Screen Holdings Co Ltd, up 4.56%, followed by Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd, which rose 3.78% and property developer Tokyo Tatemono Co Ltd, up 3.76%.

The largest percentage losses in the index were Internet services firm Z Holdings Corp, down 3.13%, followed by construction and engineering company JGC Holdings Corp, which lost 2.64%, and medical equipment maker Olympus Corp , down 2.36%.

The Topix index rose 0.31% to 1,710.98.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.08 billion, below the average of 1.29 billion over the past 30 days. ($1 = 108.6400 yen)

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Richard Pullin