September 19, 2019 / 2:40 AM / 25 days ago

Japanese shares rise on Fed cut, close in on this year's peaks

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Japanese shares advanced to close in on this year’s peaks on Thursday after a long-expected rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped ease concerns on the global economy, sparking buying in a broad range of shares.

Many investors now await a policy announcement later on Thursday from the Bank of Japan, which is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold to save its scarce ammunition for further easing.

In late morning trade, the Nikkei share average rose 1.01% to 22,183.53, edging near its year-to-date high of 22,362 hit in late August.

The broader Topix gained 1.05% to 1,623.50, coming within reach of its Aug. 17 peak of 1,633.96.

The Fed cut interest rates for a second time this year to 1.75%-2.00% in a 7-3 vote, although it signalled further rate cuts are unlikely as the labour market remains strong.

Despite lingering worries about the U.S.-China trade war, hopes that the worst may be over soon are supporting the market, especially in the battered semi-conductor sector.

Advantest Corp rose 3.8% and Murata Manufacturing gained 1.4%.

Broader electronics makers also did well, with Fujitsu rising as much as 3.3% to hit a 21-month high while Oki Electric gained 2.5%.

In addition to the Fed cut, shares of exporters also drew support from a weaker yen, which stayed near 1 1/2-month-lows against the dollar.

High-yielding power company shares were also bought after the U.S. interest rate cut.

Kansai Electric Power Co Inc rose 3.5% and Chubu Electric Power gained 2.5%.

All of Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry subindexes posted gains.

Japan Tobacco bucked the trend, falling 0.5% after India banned the sale of electronic cigarettes. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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