Tokyo stocks close higher on US-China trade rumours

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street as investors took heart from a report the US could lift trade tariffs on China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.29 percent or 263.80 points to end at 20,666.07. It rose 1.50 percent over the week.

The broader Topix index was up 0.93 percent or 14.39 points at 1,557.59. It was up 1.82 percent over the week.

“Expectations that US-China trade friction would ease spread on the markets… Investors bought back Japanese shares following gains on Wall Street,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

A weaker yen against the dollar is also supporting Japanese shares, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 109.36 yen in Asian trade, against 109.19 yen in New York late Thursday.

US stocks suddenly jumped higher after The Wall Street Journal reported Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had proposed lifting some or all tariffs on China as a way to reassure markets and bolster the odds of a bigger trade deal.

In individual Tokyo trade, electronics firms were higher, with Sharp soaring 9.03 percent to 1,207 yen and Panasonic rising 1.29 percent to 1,058.5 yen.

However, precision motor maker Nidec fell 1.12 percent to 12,255 yen after it said its net profit for the year to March would be 14 percent lower than the previous year.

Hitachi edged down 0.20 percent to 3,475 yen after it froze construction of a nuclear power station in Britain, booking a cost of 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion).

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.7 percent at 24,370.10.

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