* US Nasdaq's record high also lifts sentiment
* Nikkei could test upside ahead of Golden Week holidays
TOKYO, April 26 Japan's Nikkei share average
rose to near one-month highs on Wednesday, buoyed by a weaker
yen and record high for the Nasdaq Composite.
The Nikkei was up 0.8 percent at midday at 19,231.92
points, after touching its highest intraday levels since March
The Nikkei is up 3.3 percent for the week so far, and 1.7
percent for April.
"Depending on what overseas markets do, there is reason to
believe that the Nikkei could test 19,500 ahead of the upcoming
holidays," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at
Tokyo markets will be closed for three days from May 3 for a
string of holidays known as the Golden Week.
The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high on Tuesday,
while the Dow and S&P 500 brushed against recent peaks as strong
earnings underscored the health of corporate America.
The dollar was up 0.1 percent at 111.22 yen, adding
to its hefty gains made on Tuesday, when it climbed 1.2 percent
to log its biggest one-day rise against the yen in three months.
The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting on
Wednesday, at which it is widely expected to hold policy steady.
Policymakers are set to offer a more upbeat assessment of
the economy than last month, as a pick-up in overseas demand
bolsters exports and factory output, sources have told Reuters.
Toshiba Corp added 3 percent, after the Nikkei
business daily reported that the troubled electronics
conglomerate has decided to replace its auditor after less than
a year as struggles to win its approval on full-year financial
Shares of major Japanese shipbuilding companies outperformed
the broader market, with Mitsui OSK Lines up 2.4
percent, Nippon Yusen up 1.8 percent, and Kawasaki
Kisen adding 1.1 percent. Nikkei reported that the
three companies will post net profits in fiscal 2017.
IHI Corp shares rose 7.3 after the ship and heavy
machinery manufacturer on Tuesday hiked its group operating
profit forecast for the full fiscal year.
Shares of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co added 2.1
percent after it said it will retire 123,000 treasury shares of
its common stock on Friday.
The broader Topix added 0.9 percent to 1,532.73,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also 0.9 percent
higher at 13,722.76.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Kim Coghill)