January 7, 2019 / 2:54 AM / 3 months ago

Nikkei tracks sharp Wall Street gains, supported by dovish Fed remarks

* Risk appetite lifted on Fed Chairman's comments

* Nikkei gains 2.8 pct by midday break

* Topix also up 2.8 pct, all of its 33 subsectors rise

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei roared higher on Monday, tracking sharp gains on Wall Street as dovish comments from the Federal Reserve chairman helped ease some of the market's worries about a slowdown in global growth.

The Nikkei share average ended the morning session 2.82 percent higher at 20,113.37.

The benchmark index rebounded from a sharp 2.3-percent drop on its first trading session this year on Friday.

The broader Topix was 2.84 percent higher at 1,512.87, with all of its 33 subsectors trading in positive territory.

On Friday, risk appetite got a huge boost on a strong U.S. jobs report.

Sentiment also got a lift as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell sought to ease market concerns about the risk of a slowdown, saying he would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.

"The tone of Powell's remarks was considerably more dovish than (the tone) at the Fed's open markets committee meeting in December," said Hisao Matsuura, chief equity strategist at Nomura Securities.

U.S. and Chinese officials are meeting for trade negotiations starting later Monday, the first face-to-face talks of the year.

Late on Friday, China's central bank announced a new round of policy easing, which frees up around $116 billion for new lending.

The move helped lift appetite for Japanese firms exposed to China, such as those included in the machinery and electric appliance subsectors on the Topix, said Matsuura.

Shares of industrial machinery maker Komatsu Ltd, which has large exposure to China, jumped 6.8 percent, and tractor maker Kubota Corp gained 4.9 percent.

Blue chip shares rose across the board, with Toyota Motor Corp tacking on 3.3 percent, Sony Corp up 3.8 percent, Nintendo rising 5.7 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group adding 1.9 percent.

Takeda Pharmaceutical rose 6.1 percent after releasing subscription terms to issue new shares.

The announcement, which was in line with market expectations, brings the company another step closer to completing its $59 billion takeover of London-listed Shire . (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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