Nikkei rises helped by Wall Street's rebound, weak yen; Sharp tumbles

* Sharp tumbles to 2-year low on reports of losses * Fuji Heavy rises on record high production plan for 2015 * Market awaits ECB decision this week By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average crawled back from a 2-1/2-month low on Monday morning as U.S. stocks rebounded after strong economic data buoyed sentiment, while the weaker yen helped exporters rise.

Bucking the strength, Sharp Corp dived 9.1 percent to 229 yen, the lowest since December 2012, after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company is set to slide back into the red this financial year.

The Nikkei rose 0.7 percent to 16,983.82 in mid-morning trade. On Friday, it slid to 16,592.57 during trade, the lowest level since Oct. 31, when the Bank Of Japan unexpectedly eased monetary policy.

U.S. shares snapped a five-day losing streak on Friday after U.S. consumer sentiment hit its highest in 11 years in January, and December factory output rose.

“We are seeing some comfort in the market for the time being, but it’s too early to be relieved and optimistic,” said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management, adding that investors may stay on the sidelines this week as they brace for the European Central Bank to decide on Thursday whether it will launch a huge stimulus plan.

“We still have concerns about global growth and other geopolitical risks such as Greece,” Ando said.

Sources have told Reuters the ECB may adopt a hybrid approach – buying debt and sharing some of the risk across the euro zone while national central banks make separate purchases of their own.

The dollar was at 117.06 yen after falling to a one-month low of 115.85 yen on Friday. Honda Motor Co added 0.9 percent, Sony Corp rose 2.0 percent and Advantest Corp gained 1.5 percent.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd rose 2.5 percent to a one-week high after the maker of Subaru cars said in its production plan that it expects to produce a record 9.2 million units worldwide in 2015.

The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,369 yen and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.5 percent to 12,433.70.

(Editing by Eric Meijer)

Nikkei Futures

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