TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose for a third day to hit a fresh one-month high on Wednesday after Wall Street strengthened and the dollar scaled a two-week top on the yen, helping buoy cyclicals such as exporters and banks.
The Nikkei gained 0.5 percent to 19,867.72 in midmorning trade, after earlier reaching 19,879.85, the highest level since Aug. 9.
The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq Composite clocked record closes, with investors drawn to riskier assets as concerns over U.S.-North Korea tensions eased and the financial impact from Hurricane Irma appeared less severe than initially feared.
In Tokyo, brokerage, insurance and banking sectors outperformed with U.S. Treasury yields hitting two-week highs.
Nomura Holdings jumped 2.6 percent, T&D Holdings added 1.4 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gained 1.8 percent.
With the dollar up 0.1 percent at an almost two-week high of 110.270 yen, exporters including makers of machinery, electronics products and automobiles attracted buying. Pump manufacturer Ebara Corp rose 1.8 percent, agricultural equipment maker Kubota Corp added 1.6 percent, Panasonic Corp surged 2.7 percent and Nissan Motor Co rose 1.1 percent.
“Risk mood seems to have come back as U.S. markets were rallying,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
Still, investors are cautious about the medium term growth outlook for the United States, especially as they try to gauge Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the economy.
“We need to watch out upcoming U.S. economic data and impact on the stock market,” Sato said.
Hitachi Ltd jumped 2.9 pct to a level not seen since August 2015 after UBS Securities raised its stock rating to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’, saying that loses related to overseas projects were less than the market had expected.
The broader Topix rose 0.6 percent to 1,637.08 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.6 percent to 14,505.02.
Editing by Shri Navaratnam