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Tokyo: Stocks jump on weaker yen after solid US jobs report

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks rebounded on Monday as exporters got a boost from a weaker yen after another strong US jobs report made a Federal Reserve interest rate rise this month virtually certain.

The gain of more than 200,000 new posts in November reinforced the view that the world's top economy and a major Japanese trading partner is well on the recovery track.

"The majority of market participants should be expecting a December rate hike now that we've seen that the jobs data is good," Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"The focus now is on the pace of the rate hikes." The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed 0.99 per cent, or 193.67 points, higher at 19,698.15. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.71 per cent, or 11.19 points, to 1,585.21.

Tokyo investors are now awaiting a revision of Japanese third-quarter gross domestic product growth on Tuesday morning.

The initial estimate last month showed Japan slipped into recession during the six months to September but the new figures are widely expected to instead show flat or modest growth in the world's number-three economy.

"A jump in capital spending suggests that output may have been flat last quarter instead of the initially reported 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline," research house Capital Economics said in a commentary.

In currency markets, the dollar rose to 123.29 yen from 123.11 yen Friday in New York, a plus for exporters' profitability and competitiveness overseas.

Toyota rose 0.16 percent to 7,704 yen, Sony added 1.23 per cent to 3,129 yen and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, a market heavyweight, jumped 1.71 percent to 47,520 yen.

But energy-linked shares fell as the Opec oil cartel decided against slashing high output levels, keeping prices under pressure.

Inpex fell 1.53 per cent to 1,226 yen while Japan Petroleum Exploration dropped 1.59 per cent to 3,395 yen.

AFP