* Nikkei, Topix both add 0.4 pct * Laggard blue chips gain * Marubeni up on report to buy Australian mine By Mari Saito TOKYO, March 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average gained for the fifth straight session on Monday, supported by buying of blue-chip laggards as market players looked for fresh proof of a robust economic recovery in the United States before pushing it higher. Construction machinery maker Komatsu Ltd jumped 3 percent and industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp gained 2.4 percent, while investors took profits in Canon Inc and Sony Corp. Canon fell 0.8 percent and Sony lost 0.4 percent. The benchmark Nikkei was up 0.4 percent at 10,166.65 after jumping as high as 10,172.64, its highest level since early July. It logged a sixth straight week of gains last week. "The market is in wait-and-see mode today as we wait for the next data or news to trade on," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. "It would be best for the Nikkei to consolidate around current levels before going higher. The dollar/yen rate is stabilising around mid-83 yen, so we should see steady moves in tandem with the forex rate," said Miura. The broader Topix advanced 0.4 percent to 869.81. Market participants said trading volume will likely be thin as Tokyo markets are closed on Tuesday for a Japanese holiday. Nomura wrote in a report to clients on Friday that market participants saw a need for risk control owing to worries about near-term overheating in the markets. "We continue to expect laggard highbeta sectors to play catch-up," it said. Among stocks with high volume was trading house Marubeni Corp, which jumped 3.2 percent to a 13-month high after a source said it is in talks with Australian miner Hancock Prospecting to buy a 10 to 12.5 percent stake in an iron ore mine for up to $1.58 billion. The Nikkei newspaper also reported that Marubeni and a Japanese state-sponsored fund will buy British wind power engineering company Seajacks International for about $850 million. "With the Dow trading above the upside target of 13,000 a general lack of factors or news is going to make it harder for the Nikkei to aim that much higher today," said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management. "U.S. economic data continues to be solid. The consumer sentiment data slipped on Friday but factory output was steady.
Confidence in the U.S. economy will push the Nikkei up to 10,200 even this week, although we will have to watch the housing data this week," said Ando. A run of U.S. housing data due for release this week is expected to give investors a fresh look at the strength of the recovery in the world's largest economy. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed with a slim gain, but the Dow ended down 0.15 percent after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment data slipped to 74.3 from 75.3 in February, against economists' forecasts for a gain to 76.0. The benchmark Nikkei ended up 0.06 percent on Friday at 10,129.83 and logged its sixth straight week of gains. The broader Topix advanced 0.4 percent on Friday to 866.73.