Tokyo shares rise as investors await earnings; chip sector rallies

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TOKYO, July 23 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged higher onTuesday morning, with the semiconductor sector leading thegains, tracking Wall Street moves, though trading remained thinahead of the domestic earnings season for the April-Junequarter.

The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 rose 1.0% to21,622.78 in late morning trade, its highest level in a week.

Overnight, U.S. S&P 500 .SPX climbed 0.3%, a shade below its July 15 record high close, while the Dow Jones IndustrialAverage .DJI rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added0.7%. .N/C

Taking their cues from Wall Street peers, Japan's chipsector drove gains with Tokyo Electron6857.T climbing 2.4%,while Advantest6857.T and Disco 6146.T gained 1.7% and2.0%, respectively.

Apple-related electronic parts makers were also in demandafter the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple IncAAPL.O was in advanced talks to buy chipmaker Intel Corp'sINTC.O smartphone-modem chip business, citing sources. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24N43J

Murata Manufacturing Co6981.T , TDK Corp6762.T and AlpsAlpine 6770.T advanced 3.0%, 2.5% and 2.6%, in that order.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp9984.T jumped 4.2%after Fox Business reported U.S. regulators have signalled thatthey are about to give green light to the postponed $26 billionmerger between T-Mobile US IncTMUS.O and Sprint CorpS.N . urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24N37W

The broader Topix .TOPX added 0.8% to 1.568.58.

Japan's April-June quarter corporate earnings season willget underway later this week. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) ((tomo.uetake@thomsonreuters.com; +81-3-6441-1645; ReutersMessaging: tomo.uetake.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Economy

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