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Tokyo: Nikkei index rises to 8-month high on weak yen

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark stock index rose to an eight-month high on Tuesday thanks to a weaker yen, while investors focused on Japan's upcoming trade talks with the United States.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.29 per cent or 70.33 points to close at 23,940.26, rising for the seventh straight session.

The broader Topix index was up 1.02 per cent or 18.42 points at 1,822.44.

"The market has maintained positive momentum partially due to a weak yen," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

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But profit-taking limited the upside support, Mr Sato said.

"Players are focusing on Japan-US ministerial trade talks as well as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)," he told AFP.

The US central bank is to start a two-day meeting on Tuesday amid expectations it will raise the benchmark lending rate for the third time this year to rein in inflation.

Japan and the United States are to hold high-level trade talks this week. Japanese media have said Tokyo would agree to launch a new round of bilateral trade consultations if Washington does not impose extra tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts.

Meanwhile, the US-China trade row has deepened with the world's two biggest economies trading fresh blows and Washington slapping new tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese imports.

The US dollar was at 112.90 yen against 112.78 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

In individual stocks trade, Sony jumped 3.32 per cent to 6,658 yen while Toyota rose 1.74 per cent to 7,122 yen, with Honda up 0.71 per cent at 3,516 yen.

Industrial machinery maker Komatsu, which does a lot of business with China, dropped 1.25 per cent to 3,467 yen.

AFP

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