December 3, 2018 / 6:48 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei hits 6-week high after China-U.S truce lifts cyclical stocks

* Companies with high exposure to China soar

* Renesas jumps 10 pct; report quotes chief on self-driving ambition

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei surged to a six-week high on Monday after the United States and China suspended the imposition of new tariffs and agreed to try to reach a trade deal within 90 days.

The Nikkei share average soared 1.0 percent to 22,574.76, the highest closing level since Oct. 22.

Japanese cyclical stocks such as those in tech, autos and machinery that have large exposure to the Chinese market outperformed.

Hitachi Ltd soared 4.1 percent and TDK Corp surged 4.3 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp advanced 3.4 percent.

Factory automation equipment maker Yaskawa Electric rose 3.3 percent, babybottle maker Pigeon Corp added 2.8 percent and cosmetics maker Shiseido Co gained 3.4 percent.

The U.S.-China truce “is raising investors’ risk appetite especially on stocks that have underperformed lately,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“In the mid-term, there are concerns that new tariffs will start after 90 days, but the market also expects China to come up with a stimulus programme before then.”

Apart from trade, Shigemi said that investors also took heart from comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, which pointed toward a slower pace of rate hikes.

“Investors were concerned about trade and Fed’s policy, so right now with the two major worries receding, the environment is favourable for stocks now,” Shigemi said.

Renesas Electronics, which has deepened a push into semiconductors for self-driving cars, jumped 10 percent.

The broader Topix rose 1.3 percent to 1,689.05. (Editing by Richard Borsuk; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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