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Tokyo shares close higher on weak yen

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Onlookers and rescue workers gather at the site of a footbridge after its collapse, outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway complex in Mumbai, on March 14, 2019. – Four people were killed and dozens injured when a footbridge collapsed near Mumbai’s main train station on March 14, 2019, the latest accident to highlight creaking infrastructure in India’s financial capital. (Photo by – / AFP)

Tokyo shares rose on Friday, ending two days of declines, with a cheaper yen providing support and investors brushing off a downbeat central bank assessment of the Japanese economy.

The Nikkei 225 index added 0.77 percent, or 163.83 points, to 21,450.85, helping it rise 2.02 percent over the week.

The broader Topix index was up 0.90 percent, or 14.34 points, at 1,602.63, a gain of 1.92 percent from last Friday.

“Current levels of the yen are seen as a positive factor for Japanese shares,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

The dollar fetched 111.70 yen in Asian afternoon trade, up from 111.65 yen in New York and 111.58 yen in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-loose monetary policy in place after a two-day policy board meeting, but said the economy was struggling with “exports and production … affected by the slowdown in overseas economies”.

But it also argued that the economy was “expanding moderately”.

Dealers are also keeping tabs on the China-US trade talks, with Donald Trump saying Thursday that they should wrap up within four weeks and adding that “we are doing very well” in the negotiations.

In share trading Toyota jumped 1.10 percent to 6,615 yen after it announced it will boost its planned US investment by $3 billion to $13 billion over five years to boost manufacturing in multiple states.

Its rival Honda was up 1.12 percent at 3,057 yen while Nissan rose 0.81 percent to 938.5 yen.

China-related shares were also higher, with construction machinery maker Komatsu climbing 1.75 percent to 2,672.5 yen and industrial robot maker Fanuc rallying 1.42 percent to 18,895 yen.


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