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Tokyo:Nikkei rises to more than 1-week high on yen; shipping sector surges

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[TOKYO] Japanese stocks rose to more than one-week highs on Monday after Wall Street gained on Friday, while the dollar strengthened against the yen on the heels of US jobs data that gave investors more confidence in the strength of the US economy.

The Nikkei gained 0.8 per cent to 20,080.98, the highest closing level since June 29. "It's a straightforward market today. There is demand in cyclical stocks such as automakers and tech stocks taking cues from U.S. shares," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

The marine transport sector was the best sectoral performer after the three major shippers established a holding company and an operating company to integrate their container shipping businesses.

Nippon Yusen KK gained 1.4 per cent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha surged 2.9 per cent and Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd jumped 5.0 per cent.

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Overall sentiment was positive after US jobs growth beat forecasts, lifting the dollar against the yen. The dollar was 0.2 per cent higher at 114.16, after notching a high of 114.21, its loftiest level since May 11.

Tech shares were in demand. Advantest Corp rose 1.9 per cent, Tokyo Electron climbed 2.3 per cent and Panasonic Corp added 1.8 per cent.

US job growth surged more than expected in June and employers increased hours for workers, suggesting the Federal Reserve could stick to its plan for its third interest rate hike this year and begin to reduce its balance sheet despite sluggish wage gains and tepid inflation.

Japanese banking shares languished, with Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group both dropping 0.6 per cent.

The broader Topix gained 0.5 per cent to 1,615.48, with 1.54 billion shares changing hands, the lowest level in two weeks.