March 27, 2018 / 2:30 AM / a month ago

Nikkei rises after trade war worries ease; tech shares surge

TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Tuesday morning as worries about a trade war eased on optimism that the United States and China could begin negotiations, helping trade-exposed sectors such as chip manufacturers.

The Nikkei surged 1.8 percent to 21,128.90 in midmorning trade.

Tech stocks outperformed, with semiconductor equipment makers Tokyo Electron soaring 3.8 percent and Advantest Corp jumping 5 percent, respectively. Silicon maker Sumco surged 4.1 percent.

Japanese stocks, particularly the tech sector, were battered last week after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday it and the United States should maintain negotiations, reiterating pledges to ease access for American businesses.

Other cyclical stocks such as exporters gained ground after the dollar rose 0.2 percent to 105.59 yen.

Construction equipment maker Komatsu soared 5 percent, Panasonic surged 4.7 percent and Toyota Motor Corp gained 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the market continued to monitor developments in a cronyism scandal that has gripped the country and sparked a political crisis for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In a testimony in parliament, Nobuhisa Sagawa, formerly head of the finance ministry division in charge of the documents, said that Abe, his wife, Finance Minister Taro Aso and their top aides did not give instructions to change documents about a land deal at the heart of a suspected cronyism scandal.

The broader Topix advanced 1.9 percent to 1,702.37. (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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