Japan shares end higher on overnight Wall Street gains, strong earnings

TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended higher on Wednesday following an overnight tech-led rally on the Wall Street, while investors buying stocks of companies that reported strong results as the earnings season nears its peak further supported sentiment.

The Nikkei share average (.N225) advanced 1.08% to close at 27,579.87, while the broader Topix (.TOPX) rose 0.94% to 1,952.22.

Wall Street ended sharply higher overnight, lifted by big technology firms such as Apple (AAPL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O), while a jump in Treasury yields elevated bank stocks ahead of a key inflation reading this week.

"The U.S. market has raised sentiment. And investors hunted for companies that reported strong earnings," said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

"Also, investors seem to have digested the caution about U.S. monetary policy tightening."

Heavy machinery maker IHI surged 10.05% and was the top performer on the Nikkei, after the company tripled its annual operating profit forecast.

Nissan Motor advanced 5.67%, after the automaker raised its full-year profit outlook as it squeezed out more profit per vehicle. read more

Toyota Motor (7203.T) rose 0.94%, even as the carmaker cut its annual production target by a half a million more vehicles as a chip shortage and COVID-19-related sick leave crimped output. read more

Steel makers (.ISTEL.T) led gains among the exchange's 33 industry subindexes, with JFE Holdings (5411.T) jumping 9.04%.

Technology investor SoftBank Group (9984.T) climbed 5.85%, after it shelved its blockbuster sale of Arm Ltd to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and said it would instead seek to list the company. read more

Game contents developer DeNA (2432.T) tumbled 6.98% and was the worst performer on the Nikkei, followed by cement maker Taiheiyo Cement (5233.T), losing 5.82%.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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