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Tokyo shares open higher on falling yen, US jobs data

Mar 12 2018 06:58

Tokyo - Tokyo shares jumped in early trade on Monday as global investors cheered healthy US jobs data while the falling yen also lifted the Japanese bourse.

The market's optimism stayed intact as the White House deliberates details of its planned metal tariffs and a potential meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 435.06 points, to 21 904.26 in early trade while the broader Topix index advanced 25.63 points, to 1 741.11.
The dollar firmed to ¥106.95, from ¥106.78 in New York on Friday.

"The Tokyo bourse this week is likely to try rebounding," said Okasan Online Securities in a note to clients.

"The US jobs data came out 'just right', and this is likely to encourage buying and boost the market," it said.

The closely-watched monthly US payrolls report, released on Friday, revealed moderating wage growth compared with the January report, mitigating concerns the Federal Reserve will speed its pace of interest rate hikes.

Global investors also eyed Trump's tariffs plans, which could spark a trade war.

But Washington is promising some exemptions, including for Mexico and Canada, making the tariffs less severe than initially feared.
Still, Trump has exchanged sharp words with European officials over the issue.

The market is also enjoying a sense of easing geopolitical tension with Trump promising to meet with Kim by the end of May.

"We cannot say there is no concern over issues related to (US metal) trade and the talks between the US and North Korea. But we still believe a rebound is likely, with a fall of the yen also serving as a tailwind," Okasan Online said.

Among major shares, Toyota jumped 2.47% to ¥6 959, while Panasonic rose 2.78% to 1 680.5.

Hitachi rose 2.73% to 812.4. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 2.13% to ¥732.4.

Sony edged up 0.11% to 5 399.

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