Nikkei gains ground as yen weaker on PM resignation

* Yen weakens after PM says to quit

* Oil-linked shares down after fall in US peers, oil price

* Internet Initiative Japan soars on AT&T Japan ops deal

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose
into positive territory on Wednesday after Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama said he would resign, which prompted the yen to weaken.

Unpopular Hatoyama said he and ruling party kingpin Ichiro
Ozawa would resign as the ruling party struggles to revive its
chances in an upper house election expected in July.
[ID:nTOE651015]

“The latest developments have raised hopes that the political
morass that was seen as an impediment to the government’s
economic policies may be cleared,” said Koichi Ono, senior
strategist at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.

The Nikkei rose 47.89 points to be up 0.5 percent at 9,759.53
after earlier falling 0.7 percent. The broader Topix (.TOPX: ) was
up 0.2 percent.

Wall Street indexes all fell more than 1 percent as energy
shares slid after the latest failed attempt to halt the oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. government announced a
criminal probe into the disaster. [.N] [ID:nN01115402]

Oil-linked shares such as oil and gas field developer Inpex
(1605.T: ) fell in the wake of the Wall Street losses and after oil
prices also fell nearly 2 percent to below $73 per barrel as the
euro slid and Chinese and European data raised concerns about the
global economy. [O/R]

Inpex slid 1.2 percent to 557,000 yen. Oil distributor Showa
Shell (5002.T: ) fell 0.8 percent to 642 yen and Cosmo Oil (5007.T: )
declined 2.7 percent to 253 yen.

Shares of Internet Initiative Japan (3774.T: ) soared 14.7
percent to 230,000 yen after the Internet access service provider
said it would acquire part of the Japanese operations of AT&T Inc
for $101 million. [ID:nTOE65006Y]

Stock Today

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Nikkei gains ground as yen weaker on PM resignation