Tokyo stocks close higher


Tokyo - Tokyo stocks jumped on Friday after Wall Street rallied and tensions over North Korea eased, with investors on the sidelines ahead of a holiday weekend overseas.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.40%, or 295.22 points, to 21 454.30, marking a weekly gain of 4.06%.

The broader Topix index was up 0.72%, or 12.30 points, at 1 716.30. It advanced 3.08% over the week.

"Higher US stock prices sent the market here higher," said Toshihiko Matsuno at the investor information division of SMBC Nikko Securities.

"Further easing of tension over North Korea has also contributed to improving investor sentiment," he added.

Before the long Easter holiday weekend, US stocks closed higher Thursday with the technology sector rallying after two bruising sessions.

Investors will focus on Japan's closely watched "tankan" quarterly business confidence survey on Monday.

"We want to check the impact of the recent strong yen on corporate sentiment," Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, told AFP, adding that investors would also be looking at US payroll figures on Friday.

Nissan shares were up 0.86% at 1 104 yen after Bloomberg news agency said Renault was talking to the Japanese automaker about a merger that would create a new group that trades as a single stock.

The French company's shares gained almost six percent on Thursday.

Matsuno said investors were waiting for further details or official comment on the news before making a large move.

Honda gained 0.52% to 3 660 yen but Toyota lost 0.24% to 6 825 yen.

Mobile operator and IT investor SoftBank Group surged 3.01% to 899.1 yen and Sony gained 0.70% to 5 146 yen.

The dollar was trading at 106.25 yen against 106.45 yen in New York on Thursday.

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