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Tokyo: Stocks close higher ahead of US-China trade talks


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed higher for a sixth day on Friday as focus shifted to the much-anticipated US-China summit during the G20 this weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.40 per cent to 88.46 points to end at 22,351.06, while the broader Topix index rose 0.48 percent or 7.98 points at 1,667.45.

"The Nikkei index reached the 22,350 level as shares were bought in afternoon trade. Most investors have optimistic views on the US-China summit," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping are due to hold crunch trade talks in Argentina this weekend during the gathering of world leaders.

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Japan's factory output in October was up 2.9 per cent from the previous month, after a 0.4 per cent dip in September, official data showed before the opening bell, but it had little impact on stocks or currency markets.

Separate government data confirmed the Japanese labour market continues to be tight, with the jobless rate in October at 2.4 per cent, up slightly from 2.3 per cent in the previous month.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio improved slightly to 1.62, meaning 100 jobs are available for every 162 job seekers.

The US dollar fetched 113.38 yen in Asian trade, against 113.42 yen in New York and 113.30 yen on late Thursday.

Nissan rose 0.97 per cent to 994.3 yen after a meeting of executives from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance confirmed the stability of the partnership.

Mitsubishi Motors was up 0.57 per cent to 696 yen.

Their rival Honda gained 1.90 per cent to 3,202 yen while Toyota lost 1.31 per cent to 6,803 yen.

Steelmakers were lower after brokerage firms revised down their evaluations, with JFE dropping 2.22 per cent to 2,001.5 yen. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal edged up 0.19 per cent at 2,076 yen.

Pharmaceuticals were higher with Takeda jumping 2.28 per cent to 4,255 yen and Eisai 2.15 per cent to 10,415 yen.