August 24, 2018 / 3:08 AM / a year ago

Nikkei rises as weak yen helps mood; Eisai soars

* Nikkei has gained 1 pct for week

* Eisai, Daiichi Sankyo among notable gainers

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei rose on Friday as a weaker yen supported sentiment, with the pharmaceutical sector leading gains after a report that Eisai moved forward its mid-term profit goal by one year.

The Nikkei share average was up 0.4 percent at 22,488.68 points by the midday break. For the week, the benchmark index has risen 1 percent.

The dollar is comfortably staying above 111 yen, after gaining nearly 0.7 percent against the Japanese currency after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes showed officials discussed raising rates soon.

Eisai Co rose 1.9 percent, after the Nikkei business daily reported that the drugmaker is expected to post an operating profit of 102 billion yen ($923.16 million) in the year ending March 2020, moving one year forward its mid-term business plan.

Other drugmakers followed suit. Chugai Pharmaceutical surged 2.9 percent and Daiichi Sankyo added 2 percent.

Oil and mining shares also attracted buyers, with Showa Shell rising 2.6 percent and Inpex advancing 1.2 percent.

On the other hand, Shimamura Co tumbled 3.8 percent after its August same-store sales dropped 5.6 percent on the year as typhoons kept shoppers at home, falling for a four consecutive month.

The broader Topix advanced 0.4 percent to 1,704.08.

As expected, Sino-U.S. trade talks ended on Thursday with no major breakthrough as the two sides escalated their trade war, activating more tariffs on each country’s goods.

Many trade-reliant Asian economies are worried they will suffer collateral damage if the dispute drags on and disrupts Chinese demand.

“The market knew that there would not be a solution proposal out of the low-level talks this time, so we can say that it was somewhat expected,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

Analysts said that investors’ focus has shifted to a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Markets are looking for clues on the extent of further interest rates rises. ($1 = 110.4900 yen) (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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