Chase Franklin International Tokyo News: shares gain 1.37 percent in opening trade


Tokyo shares opened higher Monday, tracking a Wall Street rally on Friday driven by strong US jobs data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.37 percent, or 193.42 points, to 14,280.22 shortly after the opening bell.

The market also won support from the weaker yen as the dollar edged up in currency markets to 99.16 yen, from 99.04 yen in New York Friday.

Tokyo’s rise came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at a fresh record of 15,761.78, up 1.08 percent, fuelled by stronger-than-expected jobs data.

The world’s biggest economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double what analysts forecast.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.34 percent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 1.60 percent.

The figures raised the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would wind down its stimulus drive sooner than later. The central bank has said it would start reeling back on its bond-buying — credited with propping up global equity markets — once the economy shows firms signs of recovery.

“Equity sentiment remains generally strong globally — enough so to resist the fear of Fed tapering for now,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

“Hopes for more robust economic growth in the world’s largest economy should support confidence in a broad sense, while the weaker-yen factor in particular should buoy Japan shares for today,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government announced shortly before the opening bell that the nation’s current account — Japan’s broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world — logged a September surplus of 587.3 billion yen ($5.9 billion), marking the eighth straight month of black ink.

Japan has earned hefty returns from decades of investments overseas, making up for a tepid export picture and surging energy import costs.

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