November 30, 2018 / 7:19 AM / in 9 months

Nikkei edges up but gains limited ahead of U.S.-China meeting

* Nikkei up 3.3 pct for the week, 2 pct in November

* Murata rises after unveiling bright mid-term plan

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei edged up to a three-week high on Friday supported by defensive stocks and petroluem shares, but gains were limited as investors braced for the weekend meeting between the leaders of the United States and China.

Market participants remain sidelined ahead of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where President Donald Trump was due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss trade and other thorny issues.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.4 percent to 22,351.06, the highest closing level since Nov. 8.

The Nikkei rose 3.3 percent over the week and 2 percent for the month, recouping some of October’s 9.1 percent tumble.

“Investors are expecting a photo of Trump and Xi smiling and shaking hands after agreeing to continue dialogue,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

“They may not reach a deal in one day, but as long as the market confirms the two countries will continue dialogue before the U.S.’s 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods starts on Jan. 1, there may not be big confusion in the market.”

Petroleum stocks found support on Friday from a rise in oil prices, which comes after heavy losses in crude since early October on supply concerns. Inpex Corp surged 3.0 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration gained 2.3 percent.

Defensive drugmakers outperformed with Otsuka Holdings soaring 4.5 percent and Eisai Co advancing 2.2 percent

Murata Manufacturing rose 2.5 percent after the ceramic capacitors maker announced its mid-term business plan. It aims for a profit margin of 17 percent and return on invested capital of more than 20 percent in the year ending March 2022.

The broader Topix added 0.5 percent to 1,667.45. (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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