* SoftBank's gains add hefty positive points to Nikkei
* Commodity trading advisers seen buying futures
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, May 25 Japanese stocks edged up on
Thursday as investors bought futures after the yen weakened in
Asian trade, while a surge in index-heavyweights such as
SoftBank supported sentiment.
Information technology conglomerate SoftBank jumped as much
as 4.5 percent to hit a near two-week high of 8,894 yen and
contributed to a hefty 31 positive points to the Nikkei after
Bloomberg reported that the company had built a $4 billion stake
In midmorning trade, the Nikkei share average edged
up 0.5 percent to 19,849.10, after opening a tad lower.
The dollar rose 0.1 percent to 111.67 yen, moving
towards the 120 level. The dollar was on the defensive earlier,
as the currency market reacted to the Fed minutes signalling a
gradual approach on raising interest rates and the reduction of
its $4.5 trillion of bond holdings.
"Commodity trading advisers are seen buying Nikkei futures
as dollar-yen has recovered from its lows earlier," said Chihiro
Ohta, general manager at investment research at SMBC Nikko
On Wednesday, minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting
showed policymakers agreed they should hold off on raising
interest rates until it was clear a recent U.S. economic
slowdown was temporary, though most said a hike was coming
Thursday's gainers were domestic-demand sensitive sectors,
with the utility sector rising 1.2 percent, the real
estate sector adding 1.0 percent and the land
transport sector gaining 0.9 percent.
Chubu Electric Power Co gained 1.4 percent,
Mitsubishi Estate Co advanced 1.3 percent and East
Japan Railway Co added 0.8 percent.
Underperforming the market were financial stocks, after U.S.
bond yields fell.
Banks and insurers lost ground. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
Group shed 0.3 percent, Mizuho Financial Group
declined 0.4 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings dropped
The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,581.84 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.5 percent to
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)