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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.80% higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.80 per cent higher on Monday with investor sentiment boosted by strong US jobs data and the yen's plunge against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 141.81 points to 17,790.31 at the start.

The dollar surged higher Friday after a surprisingly upbeat US jobs report fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve would stay on track to raise interest rates in mid-year.

The dollar was at 119.02 yen early Monday, flat from 119.00 yen in New York Friday afternoon but sharply up from 117.33 yen in Tokyo earlier Friday.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it increases their profits when repatriated.

Dollar-yen rates were little changed immediately after Japan released data showing the nation's current-account surplus came in at a smaller-than-expected 187.2 billion yen (US$1.57 billion) in December, bringing the surplus for 2014 to a record low on the annual basis.

The euro bought US$1.1317 and 134.71 yen on Monday against US$1.1316 and 134.65 yen in US trade.

The US Labor Department reported on Friday that the world's largest economy added 257,000 jobs in January, and revised upward already healthy growth in the prior two months, showing the best gains over three months since 1997.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.34 per cent on Friday in a move largely attributed to profit taking to cap a buoyant week.