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Tokyo's Nikkei jumps more than 1.3% on US rallies, cheaper yen

[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index jumped more than 1.3 per cent on Monday, taking heart from rallies in New York and a cheaper yen against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 index added 1.37 per cent, or 298.55 points, to close at 22,169.11, rising for the third straight session. The broader Topix index was up 1.40 per cent, or 22.53 points, at 1,627.93.

The dollar fetched 111.94 yen in Asian afternoon trade, slightly down from 111.99 yen in New York late Friday but still up from 111.81 yen in Tokyo on Friday.

"Rallies in US shares and a cheaper yen are seen helping boost Japanese shares," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

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Shuji Hosoi, senior market strategist at Daiwa Securities, added that the focus this week is on Japan-US trade negotiations and a series of Chinese economic indicators, including first-quarter GDP growth figures due on Wednesday.

As optimism grows that the United States and China are nearing a trade deal, Japan kicks off its own negotiations with Washington from Monday.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan's Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi are set to embark on two days of talks in Washington.

The first round of talks will likely focus on the scope of future negotiations rather than specifics, however.

"We will carefully watch both US-China and US-Japan talks without being too optimistic," Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

In Tokyo, bluechip exporters were broadly higher, with Sony gaining 0.36 per cent to 5,220 yen and Olympus up 2.64 per cent at 1,242 yen.

Toyota rose 0.61 per cent to 6,831 yen while Nissan gained 0.79 per cent to 936.4 yen.

AFP