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Tokyo's Nikkei closes up nearly 1% on US gains

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index gained nearly 1 per cent on Wednesday, following rises on Wall Street, as concerns over the US-China trade row eased after US President Donald Trump delayed tariffs on key Chinese goods.

The Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.98 per cent, or 199.69 points, to close at 20,655.13 while the broader Topix index was up 0.87 per cent, or 12.93 points, at 1,499.50.

Japanese shares took a positive lead from Wall Street where shares rallied after Washington delayed until Dec 15 a 10 per cent tariff for Chinese-made electronics, including items popular with holiday shoppers such as cell phones, laptops and video game systems.

"But today's gain was just part of the recent ups and downs resulting from new developments in the US-China trade war," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

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"The market is likely to remain unstable for now," Mr Okumura told AFP.

The dollar was trading at 106.46 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 106.74 yen in New York on Tuesday, but up compared to 105.28 yen in Asian trade.

"The yen weakening to the 106 yen level against the dollar is also a plus," said Yoshihiro Ito, Okasan Online Securities chief strategist.

A lower yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive outside Japan and also inflates profits when repatriated.

In Tokyo share trading, Nintendo surged 4.32 per cent to 40,070 yen following the US decision to delay tariffs.

Sony rose 0.44 per cent to 5,915 yen while IT investor SoftBank Group gained 1.40 per cent to 4,964 yen.

Uniqlo chain operator Fast Retailing was up 1.40 per cent to 63,680 yen.

AFP