Tokyo's Nikkei end week with rally on trade hope

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks surged on Friday on hopes of a potential breakthrough in the long-running US-China trade dispute, topping out a strong week.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 2.56%, or 556.01 points, to 22 243.66, finishing the week 5.0% higher, while the broader Topix index was up 1.64%, or 26.71 points, at 1 658.76, a gaining of 3.93% from last Friday.

"Hopes of a breakthrough on the US-China trade war dominated the market," said Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.

Tokyo and other Asian shares marked sizeable gains after Donald Trump hailed positive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and a report said he had asked officials to draw up a draft bill as he eyes a potential trade deal between the two.

"The positive sentiment encouraged investors to buy on dips following recent declines," Yamamoto told AFP.

A weak yen also helped sustained bottomline support for the market, brokers said.

The dollar fetched ¥112.96 in Asian afternoon trade, against ¥112.62 in New York late on Thursday.

"The top focus for next week is US mid-term elections," Yamamoto said, adding that the market will also focus a US Federal Reserve meeting.

NTT Docomo jumped 4.49% to ¥2 535 after a 14.71% plunge on Thursday that followed its announcement it would cut fees under government pressure.

Its rival KDDI was up 2.11% at ¥2 410 after it reported six-months to September results in line with market expectations. It also confirmed a tie-up with online retailer Rakuten.

But Japan Airlines fell 0.60% at ¥3 923 after news its pilot was arrested before a flight for being drunk and almost 10 times the legal alcohol limit for a pilot.

Its rival All Nippon Airways rose 0.77% to ¥3 764. Shortly after the market closed, ANA said its first-half operating profit fell 8.6% on increased costs.

Suzuki Motor dropped 2.51% to ¥5 501 after it reported ¥136bn net profit for the six months to September and disappointed investors with lower-than-expected second-quarter operating profit.

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