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Tokyo: Stocks close higher for third straight day

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[Tokyo] Tokyo stocks closed higher for a third consecutive day on Monday as a weak yen boosted Japanese exporters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.56 per cent, or 127.65 points, to end at 22,938.73, while the broader Topix index was up 0.53 per cent, or 9.61 points, at 1,813.34.

The market is focusing on this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which is widely expected to raise rates for the third time this year, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"Investors welcome the current range of foreign exchange rates," he told AFP, adding that the dollar may gain further against the yen "depending upon the FOMC meeting".

"Japanese stocks are expected to top 23,000 points as soon as the FOMC rate hike is confirmed," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a note.

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The dollar changed hands at 113.55 yen, compared with 113.46 yen in New York late Friday.

A weaker yen is a positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad and inflates their repatriated profits.

In Tokyo, Panasonic was up 0.56 per cent to 1,606 yen while Canon climbed 0.48 per cent to 4,374 yen.

Automakers gained ground as Toyota gained 0.43 per cent to 7,047 yen, with Nissan up 0.74 per cent at 1,093.5 yen.

Major construction firm Obayashi plunged 7.19 per cent to 1,381 yen after prosecutors launched a probe suspecting the company rigged a bid in connection with a Maglev train-related project.


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