Nikkei ends higher on Wall Street cues; Apple-related shares gain

TOKYO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on Wednesday tracking a strong performance by Wall Street overnight, while Apple-related stocks gained after a report that the iPhone maker plans to increase its production.

The Nikkei share average climbed 0.26% to 26,757.40. The broader Topix gained 0.27% to 1,786.83.

All but eight of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange ended higher, with paper and pulp, nonferrous metals and iron and steel being the three top performers on the main bourse.

Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes ended higher, with the Nasdaq notching a record close, on growing prospects of more fiscal stimulus and a 5% jump in Apple Inc.

The Nikkei business daily reported Apple had asked its suppliers to increase their production of iPhones by nearly 30% in the first half of 2021, citing unnamed sources.

Among the largest percentage gainers on the Nikkei index, Apple supplier Alps Alpine soared 7.14%.

TDK Corp climbed 2.25%, while Murata Manufacturing gained nearly 2.4% before changing course to slip 0.2%.

Some market participants said investors were in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision later in the day.

In its final policy meeting for the year, the U.S. central bank is expected to keep its key overnight interest rate pinned near zero and signal it will stay there for years to come.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Nintendo Co Ltd and Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd , rising 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively.

Toa Oil surged more than 20% to a daily-limit high after Idemitsu Kosan said it would launch a tender offer for the company. Idemitsu Kosan rose 1.3%.

The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares lost 1.18%, hitting its near one-week low. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)