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Tokyo stocks jump on weak yen, gains on Wall Street

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Tokyo's benchmark index surged nearly 2 per cent on Monday, buoyed by investor relief over a weaker yen and continued gains on Wall Street last week.

[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark index surged nearly 2 per cent on Monday, buoyed by investor relief over a weaker yen and continued gains on Wall Street last week.

The bellwether Nikkei 225 index rose 1.97 per cent or 428.96 points to close at 22,149.21, while the broader Topix index was up 2.17 per cent or 37.78 points at 1,775.15.

"Investors were relieved to see the yen stop rising," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"They will remain cautious about foreign exchange rates for the time being" as the dollar was still hovering around the 106 yen level, Mr Horiuchi told AFP.

The dollar, which fell below 106 to hit the lowest since November 2016 against the yen on Friday, rebounded to 106.52, compared with 106.25 in New York late on Friday.

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Market sentiment was also boosted by gains on Wall Street as the Dow finished narrowly positive, up 0.1 per cent to 25.219,38, before a long weekend.

Despite the muted finale, the week was the sixth straight positive close for the bluechip index as it notched its best weekly gain since November 2016.

"Japanese stocks this week will likely test a rebound" from sharp drops earlier in the month, Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

"Given falling volatility both in Japan and in the United States, we can expect a calm market," it said.

Toyota soared 2.37 per cent to 7,379 yen and Nintendo was up 2.07 per cent at 46,790 yen.

Banks were also higher, with Mizuho up 2.21 per cent at 202.8 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ up 2.20 per cent at 793.6 yen.

SoftBank Group climbed 2.19 per cent to 8,999 yen after the Financial Times reported the Japanese telecom and investment group was seeking to join Swiss Re's board as it is in talks with the reinsurance giant to acquire a minority stake.

AFP

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