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Tokyo's Nikkei jumps nearly 1.8%

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index leapt nearly 1.8 per cent on Tuesday as concerns over the US economy receded and investors welcomed news that Britain and European Union had agreed a revised Brexit deal.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.79 per cent, or 378.60 points, to close at 21,503.69 while the broader Topix index was up 1.52 per cent, or 24.04 points, at 1,605.48.

"Japanese shares gained ground, taking heart from rallies in the US, as excessive concerns over the outlook for the US economy receded," Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

The UK-EU deal announced a few hours before the opening bell "is also supporting the market", Kyoko Amemiya, senior market analyst at SBI Securities, told AFP.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday she had secured a three-part package of changes from the EU to the terms of its withdrawal deal, hoping to win over sceptical MPs.

As May sealed the deal in Strasbourg with EU leaders, her de facto deputy, David Lidington, updated Parliament in London on the plans.

He said this should be enough to persuade MPs to vote for the agreement on Tuesday, just 17 days before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

Three new documents have been agreed to run alongside the withdrawal agreement, which governs Britain's exit terms, and the political declaration on future trade terms.

Looking ahead, investors are watching economic indicators including Japan's machinery orders "which often fluctuates" but "there is no huge negative factor expected", Ms Amemiya added.

The dollar fetched 111.33 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 111.23 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, carmakers were among the winners, with Toyota 0.60 per cent higher at 6,618 yen and Honda up 1.12 per cent at 3,047 yen.

Nissan advanced 0.98 per cent to 930.7 yen and Mitsubishi Motors rallied 1.00 per cent to 603 yen after a Japanese court barred former chairman Carlos Ghosn from attending a Nissan board meeting later on Tuesday.

Fast Retailing, the market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator, jumped 2.86 per cent to 53,940 yen.

 

AFP