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Tokyo: Shares end 1.43% higher on cheaper yen

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed 1.43 per cent higher on Monday, bolstered by gains on Wall Street and a weak yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 303.22 points to 21,509.03, while the broader Topix index added 1.52 per cent or 24.17 points at 1,615.81.

The market opened on a strong footing, following Friday's rallies on Wall Street prompted by upbeat comments from Washington after the latest round of trade negotiations in Beijing.

Improving Chinese economic indicators were also seen as brightening investor spirits, said Okasan Online Securities.

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Shortly before the opening bell, the Bank of Japan released a quarterly "tankan" survey that showed weakening business confidence among the nation's biggest manufacturers.

But the reading "came within expectations", allowing investors to buy up shares, Okasan said in a commentary.

"Today's Nikkei index ended broadly higher," the brokerage said.

"In the morning, gains of US shares prompted the Nikkei average to firm. The trend of a lower yen and firming Chinese shares also provided support, letting the Tokyo market advance further," Okasan said.

Profit taking in the afternoon capped further gains, it said.

Japanese participants also held out hopes for further celebratory market gains as the government announced that the reign of the incoming emperor will be called "Reiwa".

Current Emperor Akihito will abdicate at the end of this month after a three-decade reign, letting his son Crown Prince Naruhito assume the Chrysanthemum throne from May 1.

"Hopes were high that the announcement of the new era would also improve the market's mood," Okasan added.

The dollar stood at 111.13 yen, rising from 110.83 yen in New York late Friday.

Among major shares, Toyota added 2.45 per cent to 6,646 yen, while Sony gained 2.39 per cent to 4,756 yen.

Nintendo rose 1.14 per cent to 31,920 yen. Internet investor SoftBank Group added 1.44 per cent to 10,900 yen.

Shares related to Chinese demand also enjoyed gains.

Construction equipment maker Komatsu gained 3.07 per cent to 2,649.5. Industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp also added 2.41 per cent to 19,335.

AFP