MARKETS-JAPAN-STOCKS-NIKKEI-YEN:Nikkei rises, exporters lead gains on weaker yen
Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Tuesday as exporters gained on a weaker yen, with volume expected to stay low due to a lack of participants during the Christmas holiday.
The Nikkei rose 1.5 percent to 10,089.56.
Exporters led the gains, with Toyota Motor Corp adding 2.1 percent, Nissan Motor Co rising 1.8 percent and Canon Inc rising 2.1 percent.
Analysts said most buying may come in early trade, with immediate resistance for the Nikkei seen around the futures close in Chicago at 10,145.
"Ongoing optimism about the weak yen is lifting hopes that exporters' earnings will be better than expected," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
The dollar last traded at 84.75 yen, having risen as high as 84.965 yen on Tuesday morning, the best level since April 2011. A weak yen lifts exporters' overseas earnings when repatriated.
Shinzo Abe, who is set to become prime minister on Wednesday, renewed pressure on the Bank of Japan to adopt a higher inflation target. Abe said he would try to revise a law guaranteeing the BOJ's independence if his demand for a binding 2 percent inflation target - double its current goal - is not met.
But analysts also said that gains may be trimmed in late trade as the Japanese market has become overbought.
After rising 16.5 percent over the last six weeks, hitting a nine-month high last Friday, the Nikkei is in "overbought" territory, with its 14-day relative strength index at 72.83, above 70 which is deemed overbought and signalling that a correction may be imminent.
The broader Topix gained 1.4 percent to 844.18
Wall Street edged higher in a choppy session on Monday, with the S&P 500 on track for double-digit gains for the year, as politicians bargained ...