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Tokyo's Nikkei hits near-six-month high on US-China deal

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index jumped to a near-six-month high Tuesday as investors played catch-up with global rallies on a US-China trade deal, with a weekend typhoon failing to dampen sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 1.87 per cent, or 408.34 points, to close at 22,207.21, the highest since late April. The broader Topix index was up 1.56 per cent, or 24.93 points, at 1,620.20.

The Tokyo market was shut for a three-day weekend when a US-China partial trade deal was announced in Washington on Friday.

The enthusiasm has since ebbed somewhat as the focus shifted to the fact the deal did not remove any existing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of trade between the countries.

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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that US and Chinese officials would hold talks by phone this week and the next as they work to finalise the "phase one" trade deal.

Rakuten Securities chief strategist Masayuki Kubota said in a commentary that "it is evident that they announced a 'partial agreement' by shelving important issues".

That means they are avoiding an escalation of their confrontation for now, he added.

"If it becomes clear that the tensions are easing, the Nikkei will rise past its highest level since last year."

SoftBank Group rose 2.45 per cent to 4,258 yen after a report that it has prepared a financing package that would give it control of WeWork.

Civil engineering and construction firms rose sharply on expected reconstruction demand after Typhoon Hagibis battered Japan.

Penta-Ocean Construction jumped 3.86 per cent to 618 yen and Shimizu rose 2.02 per cent to 1,008 yen.

"The typhoon prompted investors to buy some recovery-related shares, but we need to keep an eye on its impact on supply chains and other businesses," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

The massive storm slammed into Japan on Saturday, bringing torrential rain and floods.

Nearly 70 people were killed.

The dollar was trading at 108.35 yen against 108.39 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

AFP