June 4, 2014 / 2:00 AM / in 4 years

Nikkei edges up in choppy trade before ECB, U.S. data this week

* Steel shares outperform on Credit Suisse rating hikes
    * Yahoo Japan jumps after Goldman Sachs adds to conviction

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 4 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
up in choppy trade on Wednesday morning as investors largely
stayed on the sidelines before major events this week, while the
steel sector outperformed on a brokerage's upgrade.
    The Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 15,059.71 in
mid-morning trade after dipping into negative territory. It
gained 0.7 percent to close at 15,034.25 on Tuesday, the highest
closing level since April 4.
    Market participants said investors are likely to refrain
from building up further positions as they await events such as
the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday and U.S. jobs data
on Friday.
    "The Nikkei managed to trade above 15,000, and investors are
taking a wait-and-see approach for now," said Nobuhiko
Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities.
    He said that the Nikkei may stay near the 15,000-mark for
the rest of the day, but the yen's weakness would limit falls
from profit-taking.  
    The dollar reached a one-month high against the yen at
102.56. Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
 rising 0.3 percent, while Honda Motor Co shed
0.5 percent and Toshiba Corp gained 0.7 percent.
    The iron & steel subsector rose 1.9 percent and
was the best sectoral performer after Credit Suisse raised stock
ratings of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and JFE
Holdings to 'outperform' from 'neutral', citing future
growth in their earnings. Nippon Steel surged 3.4 percent and
JFE Holdings gained 2.8 percent.
    Yahoo Japan Co jumped 3.8 percent after Goldman
Sachs added the stock to its conviction buy list, saying that
the cancellation of the eAccess Ltd acquisition plan from
SoftBank Corp ends concerns on potential related
    The broader Topix added 0.1 percent to 1,230.24,
while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent
to 11,211.34.

 (Editing by Eric Meijer)
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