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Tokyo stocks close higher

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Elementary schoolchildren walk past an electronics stock indicator in the window of a securities company in Tokyo displaying the closing numbers for the Tokyo Stock Exchange on May 8, 2019. – Tokyo stocks closed lower on May 8, as fears about a US-China trade war and a higher yen against the dollar weighed on the market. (Photo by Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP)

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Wednesday, snapping a seven-day losing streak, as investor sentiment improved following gains in Chinese shares.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.58 percent or 121.33 points to end at 21,188.56, while the broader Topix index was up 0.60 percent, or 9.17 points, at 1,544.15.

“Tokyo shares moved into positive territory following gains in Chinese shares,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

But Okasan noted that “the uncertainty over the US-China trade talks cannot be discounted”, even though optimistic comments from US President Donald Trump helped US shares recover earlier losses on Tuesday.

“When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” Trump tweeted, adding that his “respect and friendship with President Xi is unlimited”.

However, Trump also said the Federal Reserve could retaliate with cheap money in response to China’s easy monetary policy.

“China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are and will be, losing,” he said on Twitter.

“If the Federal Reserve ever did a ‘match’ it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!”

The dollar fetched 109.68 yen in Asian trade, against 109.62 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, Sony jumped 3.99 percent to 5,473 yen while SoftBank Group climbed 3.20 percent to 10,315 yen.

Nissan plummeted 6.47 percent to 785.8 yen after the crisis-hit automaker said its net profits declined 57 percent year-on-year to a near-decade low of 319 billion yen ($2.9 billion).

Its rival Toyota was up 0.62 percent to 6,570 yen and Honda was flat, inching up 0.07 percent to 2,805 yen.

Some electronics shares were higher, with Sharp gaining 1.80 percent to 1,070 yen and electronic parts maker Rohm rising 2.92 percent to 7,380 yen.


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