April 19, 2019 / 6:42 AM / a year ago

Nikkei posts 3rd weekly gain, Nintendo surges 14 pct

* Nikkei rises 1.5 pct for the week

* Nissan falls on report it will cut global production, though company denies

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei rose on Friday as investors snapped up cyclical stocks, while Nintendo jumped after Tencent won approval to sell its Switch console in China.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.5 percent higher at 22,200.56 points. For the week, the index rose 1.5 percent to post its third straight week of gains.

Shares of Nintendo Co soared after China's Tencent won a key approval to begin selling Nintendo's Switch console in China, the world's largest games market. The video game maker's shares ended up 14 percent.

Risk appetite was buoyed by overnight gains in U.S. markets, which were driven by robust economic data, while industrial stocks rallied after China's commerce ministry said there had been new progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

"The mood has recovered as the market has been able to confirm that a slowdown in the Chinese economy has hit bottom, and that the U.S. and China are making progress in their trade talks. Those were the market's main concerns," said Takashi Ito, an equity market strategist at Nomura Securities.

China's economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, data showed on Wednesday, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement. But analysts cautioned it is too early to call a sustainable recovery.

"While such macro data is improving, U.S. companies started releasing their earnings, and Japanese companies' earnings will be in focus later in the month as well," Ito said.

Machinery, sea transport and electronics stocks outperformed, offsetting weakness in defensive stocks such as railroad operators and utility firms.

Tokyo Electron rose 2.3 percent, Fanuc added 1.4 percent, Okuma soared 2.3 percent, Kawasaki Kisen advanced 1.2 percent. East Japan Railway shed 1.1 percent and Tokyo Gas declined 1.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Nissan Motor dropped 2.2 percent after the Nikkei business daily said that it will cut global production by about 15 percent for the current fiscal year ending March 2020, which would be the steepest production cut in more than a decade by the Japanese automaker.

Later in the day, Nissan said that the report was completely incorrect and said that its production plan for the current fiscal year will be disclosed on May 14.

The broader Topix gained 0.1 percent to 1,616.93. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Kim Coghill)

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