Nikkei on track for biggest daily gain since June 2013 but ghosts linger

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average soared 3.3 per cent on Monday morning and is on track to post the biggest daily rise in more than a year after Wall Street took heart on Friday from upbeat U.S. data, while the weaker yen lifted exporters such as Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.

The Nikkei share average rose 482.98 points to 15,015.49 in mid-morning trade to recover most of the losses posted last week.

Upbeat U.S. consumer sentiment gave relief to investor sentiment and lifted risk appetite. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in early October to its highest level since July 2007. Separate data showed groundbreaking for new homes rose more than expected last month.

Traders said investors are scooping up recently battered stocks after the Nikkei tumbled 5 per cent last week hit by concerns about global growth and the stronger yen.

"Selling in some of the stocks was overdone. Investors are buying them on the dips," a trader at a Japanese brokerage said.

But some analysts still stay cautious against negative catalysts which battered the market earlier this month.

"With Halloween just around the corner, the market was spooked by 'ghosts' and these ghosts will probably stick around longer," said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. "The ghosts are European economic concerns, worries on what could happen after the Fed ends tapering, and fears about Ebola."

Nakai said that these fears still linger in the market, and the rebound may be short-lived.

Toyota jumped 5.2 per cent, Honda soared 3.2 per cent and Panasonic Corp surged 5.0 per cent after the US dollar rose 0.2 percent at 107.18 yen, putting further distance between a five-week low of 105.90 hit the previous week.