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Tokyo stocks gain on Expo cheer

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A man walks past a stock indicator board showing the share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on November 26, 2018. – Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher November 26 as investors looked beyond negative news such as a drop in oil prices and the US-led trade war, and searched for fresh trading clues. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Monday, led by gains in the construction sector and other firms related to Japan’s hosting of the World Expo 2025, with investors paying close attention to talks over the US-China trade war.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.76 percent, or 165.45 points, to 21,812.00, while the broader Topix index firmed 0.20 percent, or 3.24 points, to 1,632.20.

“The World Expo is bright news and has a positive impact broadly,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP.

The Japanese city of Osaka was selected Friday to host the World Expo 2025, beating Russia and Azerbaijan for the right to organise the exhibition at which countries showcase their achievements.

Wall Street stocks fell on Friday as a sharp drop in oil prices sparked global growth worries.

But “the demand-supply balance is improving and by now investors have digested this negative news that has pushed share prices down in recent days”, said Kyoko Amemiya, senior market advisor at SBI Securities.

Some investors are already shifting their focus to the year-end shopping spree, she added.

“A weak yen was also a positive factor” Monday, Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

The dollar was trading at 113.21 yen, against 112.90 yen in New York on Friday.

“Needless to say, the biggest event this week is the G20 summit” where Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will hold a meeting with hopes they will find a way to temper their trade war.

In Tokyo, shares in the construction sector gained ground on news of the World Expo win. Obayashi jumped 4.10 percent to 1,142 yen and Penta-Ocean Construction surged 5.45 percent to 715 yen.

Nissan rose 1.75 percent to 978.4 yen following its recent fall in the wake of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest.

Its smaller group firm Mitsubishi Motors jumped 3.26 percent to 696 yen ahead of its emergency board meeting, which is widely expected to sack Ghosn as chairman.

With oil prices tumbling, energy firms were down. Developer Inpex dropped 2.44 percent to 1,158 yen and distributor Showa Shell Sekiyu slipped 0.23 percent to 1,670 yen.


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