* Nikkei up 0.3 pct; Topix adds 0.1 pct
* Construction firms gain on hopes of infrastructure works
* Advantest surges on report of strong orders this qtr
By Dominic Lau
TOKYO, Dec 10 Japan's Nikkei share average
climbed to a seven-month high on Monday, buoyed by a jump in
Chinese November factory output and a better-than-expected U.S.
The Nikkei gained 0.3 percent to 9,556.28 after
trading as high as 9,584.46, its best level in seven months.
The gains took the benchmark back into "overbought"
territory, with its 14-day relative strength index at 70.2.
Seventy or above is deemed overbought, which often signals a
possible short-term pull back.
Growth in China's factory output and retail sales rose to
eight-month highs in November boosting Japanese firms with
significant exposure to the world's second-largest economy.
Construction machinery makers Komatsu Ltd and
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd advanced 1 and
1.2 percent, respectively.
"You have some pretty decent comments coming out of the
Chinese macro number which is always going to be a driver for
Japanese companies," a senior dealer at a foreign brokerage
He added construction firms were in demand on speculations
that infrastructure spending would be increased after a tunnel
in central Japan collapsed on Dec. 2, and last Friday's
Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co Ltd rallied 6.1
percent and Taisei Corp added 0.9 percent.
Adding to the positive sentiment, U.S. employers created
146,000 jobs last month, defying predictions that superstorm
Sandy would deal a big blow to the labour market. But a steep
drop in U.S. consumer confidence in December, the largest fall
in more than 1-1/2 years, offered a cautionary note on the
health of the world's largest economy.
Panasonic Corp climbed 3.6 percent after the Asahi
newspaper said the consumer electronics maker was considering
selling its main building in Tokyo by the end of March 2013, in
an effort to secure funds as it struggles against heavy losses.
Other notable gainers included Advantest Corp, up
6.6 percent after Bloomberg news quoted the chip tester maker's
President Haruo Matsuno as saying that he expected new orders to
rise 20 percent in the October-December quarter from the
previous three months.
The broader Topix added 0.1 percent to 790.86.
The Nikkei has rallied 10.3 percent over the past 3-1/2
weeks while the yen has weakened after Shinzo Abe, the leader of
the main opposition which is expected to win a Dec. 16 general
election, called for the Bank of Japan to embark on "unlimited
easing" and set an inflation target of 2 percent.
The benchmark Nikkei is up 13 percent this year, in line
with a 12.8 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 but lagging
a 14.2 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600