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Nikkei in reach of best run of daily gains since 1961 on weaker yen, Abe hopes
October 20, 2017 / 2:33 AM / a month ago

Nikkei in reach of best run of daily gains since 1961 on weaker yen, Abe hopes

* Nikkei heads for 6th straight weekly gains

* Apple-suppliers fall after Apple shares fell

* U.S. Senate vote lifts dollar-yen

* Investors eye election results

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged up on Friday in choppy trade, in reach of posting its best daily winning streak in more than five decades, as a weaker yen helped stocks pare earlier losses.

During Asian trade, the dollar soared 0.5 percent to 113.09 yen after news that the U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to approve a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year. This could pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

The Nikkei opened 0.3 percent lower but trimmed its earlier losses. At 0207 GMT, it was up 0.2 percent at 21,483.92, heading for 14 straight days of gains. That would mark the longest daily winning streak since 1961.

For the week, it has gained 1.5 percent, on track to post six straight weekly gains, the longest weekly winning streak in a year.

The Nikkei had added more than 5 percent over the past 13 days supported by hopes that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition will win the general election on Oct. 22.

Traders said that the market is prone to profit-taking before the election, but the weaker yen, which helps export competitiveness, raised investors’ risk appetite on Friday.

“People were prepared to sell Japanese stocks on profit-taking, but now that there are expectations that U.S. stocks will rise later in the day, they don’t want to sell,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

“Stocks are pulled by those who want to take profits and those who want to chase the market higher.”

Apple suppliers’ shares were sold after Apple Inc stumbled overnight as doubts about its double 2017 iPhone release strategy weighed on investor minds.

Murata Manufacturing Co dropped 1.7 percent, Alps Electric tumbled 2.5 percent and Foster Electric shed 2.4 percent.

Food stocks gained ground, with NH Foods rising 1.4 percent and Nippon Suisan gaining 2.3 percent.

Exporters, which rose recently, were mixed as some investors took profits. Toyota Motor Corp gained 0.2 percent, Honda Motor Co dropped 0.7 percent, while Hitachi added 0.2 percent.

The broader Topix was flat at 1,730.58.

Editing by Sam Holmes

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