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Tokyo stocks up 0.38% by break

AFP | Last Updated: Monday, December 30, 2013 - 10:54

Tokyo stocks rose 0.38 percent Monday morning, supported by a weak yen, as the Japanese market winds down trading for the year.

On the last session of 2013, the benchmark Nikkei 225 added 61.45 points to 16,240.39 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares gained 0.73 percent, or 9.41 points, to 1,299.48.

"Although the Nikkei is top heavy due to profit-taking, there are no domestic or global downside risks in the immediate term," Junya Naruse, chief strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Nikkei is on track to post its best annual performance in more than four decades, far outpacing any other major bourse, mostly thanks to a plunge in the value of the yen.

The index`s morning close put it about 56 percent above its 2012 close of 10,395.18.

With a few hours of trading left, the Nikkei will log its best year since 1972 -- when it nearly doubled -- outpacing a booming Wall Street, which has seen the Dow and S&P 500 power to record highs.

Much of the Nikkei`s rally has been powered by a steep fall in the yen over the past year with the dollar buying 105.29 yen in midday trading, well up from the 87 yen level at the end of last year.

A weak yen tends to boost shares of Japanese exporters by making them more competitive overseas and inflating repatriated foreign profits.

In early afternoon trading, Sony added 2.18 percent to 1,824 yen after the leading Nikkei business daily said the firm has decided not to sell its lithium-ion battery operations to Nissan and NEC as business at the unit improves.

Toyota crept 0.15 percent higher to 6,400 yen, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing slipped 0.69 percent to 43,000 yen and Canon gained 0.45 percent to 3,315 yen.

First Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 - 10:54
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