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Nikkei 225 index closes at highest level in over two months
[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark index closed at its highest level in more than two months Friday as a weak yen lifted the market, ahead of closely watched US jobs data later in the day.
Traders shrugged off a weak session in New York on the eve of the US October jobs report, seen as a litmus test for the Federal Reserve's interest rate lift-off.
"If today's jobs report is at a level that's in line with estimates, the probability for a rate hike this year will increase," Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.
"The yen is weakening amid this speculation for higher interest rates, and that's a plus for Japan." A weak yen makes Japanese exporters more competitive overseas and inflates the value of their repatriated profits.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.78 per cent, or 149.19 points, to 19,265.60, its best close since late August.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.55 per cent, or 8.49 points, to 1,563.59.
On currency markets, the dollar rose to 121.90 yen from 121.74 yen Thursday in New York, after touching its highest level in more than two months in late afternoon trade.
The euro slipped to $1.0871 from $1.0881 in US trade, while trading flat at 132.51 yen.