TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Friday as investors picked up battered stocks after gains in US and European markets, but it may not be enough to prevent a weekly fall that would see the market post its longest run of weekly losses in 20 years.
The Nikkei has fallen 16.2 per cent since hitting a one-year peak on March 27 on worries over slowing global growth and a deepening euro zone debt crisis.
Technical indicators show the benchmark is deep in "oversold" territory.
The average advanced 0.3 per cent to 8,592.21 on Friday, but is still down 0.3 per cent this week.
If the Nikkei were to end the week lower it would be the eighth straight week of losses, its longest such run since 1992.
"It's basically short-covering. It's just heavily-sold names in the past couple of days that are getting bought. People are also picking up defensives," a senior dealer at a European brokerage said.
Japan Tobacco Inc climbed 3.4 per cent after the world's third-largest cigarette maker said after the market close on Thursday that it will buy Belgian tobacco product maker Gryson NV for 475 million euros (S$750.60 million) to cut its reliance on the domestic market.
"Although we think the near-term impact on Japan Tobacco's earnings will be small, this is an attractive deal in view of Gryson's strong potential and profitability, and expect top- and bottom-line synergies with Japan Tobacco," Nomura said in a client note, keeping a "buy" rating on the stock.
Sharp Corp eased 0.5 per cent after jumping 7 per cent the previous session after the Nikkei newspaper said Sharp will supply technical know-how to Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co for a plant in China to produce panels for Apple Inc's iPhone and other consumer electronics products.
The stock is still down more than 41 per cent this year.
The broader Topix added 0.2 per cent to 723.53.
BNP Paribas said it had revised up its forecast for Nikkei dividend futures for 2012 and 2013 after companies reported stronger optimism about future earnings and their intention to raise dividends.