* Nikkei poised for 0.5 percent weekly drop
* Tech shares gain after strong Nasdaq underpins sentiment
* The Morinagas dive after scrapping integration plan
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, March 31 Japanese stocks rose on Friday
as upbeat industrial production data and a weak yen supported
sentiment, with exporters and tech shares underpinning the broad
market in early trade.
The Nikkei share average gained 0.5 percent to
19,165.47 in midmorning trade, and is poised for a similar
Much of the demand for Japanese stocks has been influenced
by the yen's moves and broad sentiment around U.S. President
Donald Trump's early efforts to change domestic policies.
Trump's failure to push through a healthcare bill sent the
Nikkei to six-week lows on Monday as investors fretted about his
ability to push through economic stimulus measures.
U.S. shares gained overnight thanks to robust consumer
spending data and revised figures showing fourth quarter U.S.
economic growth was stronger than previously reported.
Japanese exporters rose after the dollar tacked on 0.2
percent to 112.11 yen, and tech shares tracked a robust
Nasdaq market which closed at a record high overnight. Murata
Manufacturing advanced 1.4 percent, Nidec Corp
soared 2.1 percent and TDK Corp surged 2.1 percent.
"Overseas data and domestic economic data are both helping
Japanese shares," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at
Chibagin Asset Management.
But as the dollar-yen levels have been volatile recently,
Okumura said investors will remain cautious for a while.
On the domestic front, solid data added to the better mood,
with official figures showing Japan's industrial output rose 2.0
percent in February from the previous month for the fastest pace
of increase in eight months.
The food sector was among the few drags on the
broader market, falling 0.2 percent after Morinaga & Co
and Morinaga Milk Industry Co said they scrapped the
Morinaga & Co tumbled 5 percent, while Morinaga Milk
nosedived 15 percent.
The broader Topix rose 0.7 percent to 1,538.27 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.8 percent to
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)