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Tokyo: Stocks jump as fears ease on trade, Japan scandal

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks rallied on Tuesday as fears of a global trade war eased and as testimony to Parliament about a cronyism scandal dogging Japan's premier produced few damaging revelations.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 2.65 per cent or 551.22 points to close at 21,317.32, while the broader Topix index rose 2.74 per cent, or 45.81 points, to 1,717.13.

The dollar was at 105.67 yen in Asian trade, up slightly from 105.21 yen in New York late Monday.

Investors were encouraged after rallies in US stocks and a cap on a strong yen, analysts said, adding that the market was also buoyed by the fact that the testimony revealed little that would harm Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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A Japanese official at the heart of the affair that has dented Abe's popularity said Tuesday the prime minister's office was not involved in falsifying documents.

"Share prices are rising party because of investors' relief that there was no surprise in the testimony," Hiroaki Hiwata, strategist at Toyo Securities, told AFP.

In hotly awaited parliamentary testimony broadcast live on television, Nobuhisa Sagawa said only his office took part in altering key documents about a controversial land sale, potentially easing the pressure on the embattled Abe.

Bluechip exporters were among gainers, with Toyota jumping 3.74 per cent to 6,891 yen and Nissan closing up 2.26 per cent at 1,130 yen.

Panasonic surged 5.03 per cent to 1,649.4 yen after a brokerage firm upgraded its view on the shares.

Chipmaker Renesas climbed 3.56 per cent to 1,104 yen after a report that it plans to outsource auto chip manufacturing to Taiwan's TSMC.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial closed up 3.25 per cent at 710.3 yen, after a brokerage upgraded its view of the stock.

REUTERS