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Tokyo shares rally, Takata soars on US deal report

Tokyo shares rallied Friday morning, boosted by retailers and drugmakers while embattled Takata soared on news it may announce a settlement with US regulators over an exploding airbag crisis.

But gains were capped after losses on Wall Street as a post-election equities rally -- driven by hopes for big stimulus spending under Donald Trump -- appears to be running out of steam.

Investors were disappointed that the US president-elect did not give more details about his plans for the economy when he held his first official media briefing this week.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index rose 0.52 percent, or 99.19 points, to 19,233.89 at the end of the morning session, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues gained 0.33 percent, or 5.03 points, to 1,540.44.

Both major Tokyo indexes fell around one percent on Thursday but the sell-off was overdone, prompting buying on Friday, Okasan Securities said.

"Although the three major US indices fell, a rebound from yesterday's plunge and rise of the oil prices led investors to place more buy orders, boosting the Nikkei index," it said in a commentary.

Takata's volatile shares shot up more than 16 percent to 1,061 yen on reports that the company and US authorities may announce later in the day a deal over a global airbag recall linked to more than a dozen deaths and scores of injuries worldwide.

Seven & i Holdings, which operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, soared 8.63 percent to 4,834 yen, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing rose 1.24 percent to 38,480 yen, after they released upbeat profit figures.

Drugmaker Takeda rose 0.68 percent to 4,873 yen after falling Thursday in response to Trump's warnings that he would rein in the parma sector to bring down prices.

Nintendo fell 2.24 percent to 24,635 yen as it gets set to formally unveil its new Switch game console later in the day.

The hybrid device -- it can be played at home and on the go -- got off to an inauspicious start in October when a sneak peak left gamers and analysts underwhelmed and with many unanswered questions.

McDonald's Japan unit slipped 0.49 percent to 3,020 yen after the Wall Street Journal reported that the fast food chain was inviting bids by next week to purchase a major stake in its Asian subsidiary.

The Tokyo-based company declined to comment on the report, which came days after McDonald's said it was selling its controlling stake in its Chinese and Hong Kong operations.

On forex markets, the dollar rose to 115.14 yen from 114.75 yen in New York. A weaker yen is a plus for Japanese shares.