Tokyo stocks close higher
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TOKYO, Feb 4 AFP
February 04 2013, 7:04PM
Tokyo stocks have closed up 0.62 per cent, near a three-year high, as dealers followed a sharp rally on Wall Street that pushed the key Dow Jones index close to a new record.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 69.01 points to 11,260.35 on Monday, the best finish since April 2010. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares was up 1.39 per cent, or 13.10 points, to 955.75.
Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity at SMBC Nikko Securities, said: "The external positives, including the currency and US stock movements, underscore the increasing confidence in the US economic recovery."
US stocks rallied sharply on Friday, with the Dow closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007 following a positive US jobs report.
The blue-chip index ended 1.08 per cent higher at 14,009.79, close to its all-time high of 14,164.53 seen on October 9, 2007.
Monex market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama said: "As long as the yen stays on its weakening trend, stocks should remain fairly well supported."
"Exporters and financials continue to benefit from both the currency market movements and hopes for a more accommodative change in central bank leadership," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Markets have been speculating about the government's nominee to head the Bank of Japan, with Governor Masaaki Shirakawa due to end his term in April.
The US dollar inched down to Y92.66 against Y92.80 in New York on Friday but was still up from Y92.17 in Friday trading in Tokyo. The euro weakened to $US1.3623 and Y126.24 against $US1.3637 and Y126.60.
On the Nikkei, electronics giants jumped, with Panasonic soaring 16.89 per cent to Y692 after it said on Friday that it achieved an operating profit of Y121.95 billion in the nine months to December, and a Y61.4 billion net profit in the last three months of 2012.
Sony, which reports earnings this week, jumped 7.52 per cent to Y1,457.
Sharp was up 5.47 per cent at Y347 after saying it eked out a small operating profit in its October-December quarter.
Steelmakers jumped on multiple brokerage upgrades, with JFE Holdings up 11.1 per cent at Y2,272 and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal up 7.45 per cent to Y274.