Nikkei tracks Wall Street's robust finish, tech shares shine

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Monday, tracking a strong finish on Wall Street in the previous session, with technology heavyweights leading the charge.

The Nikkei index had risen 1.56% to 27,529.33 by the midday break, in what could be its biggest daily gain since Oct. 14. The broader Topix had gained 1.25% to 1,922.71.

A robust, broad-based rally sent Wall Street to a sharply higher close on Friday, as encouraging economic data and sunnier forecasts fuelled investor risk appetite ahead of the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated policy meeting later this week.

“Japanese shares tracked the robust finish of the U.S. market and they are strong. But we can’t be optimistic,” said Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“There is speculation that a peak of Fed fund rates could be higher than expected, and the U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday. It is still uncertain how the Treasury yields will move, which is negative to equities.”

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday after data showed underlying inflation pressures remain elevated, suggesting to the bond market that the Fed will stick with its aggressive interest rate hiking campaign.

Technology investor SoftBank Group provided the biggest gain to the Nikkei, rising 5.6%. Uniqlo clothing store operator Fast Retailing rose 1.2% and chip-equipment maker Tokyo Electron climbed 1.6%.

Companies with robust earnings outlooks rose. Hitachi jumped 6.04% after the conglomerate raised its profit forecast.

Alps Alpine surged more than 18% to become the top gainer on the Nikkei after the car navigation maker raised its profit forecast.

Keyence climbed 7.7% after sensor maker boosted annual dividend payouts as it reported profit gains.

There were 196 advancers on the Nikkei index against 25 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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