Japanese shares settle higher on U.S.-China trade deal optimism, weaker yen

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japanese shares settle higher on U.S.-China trade deal optimism, weaker yen
Credit: © Reuters.

By Tomo Uetake

TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose to four-week closing highs on Tuesday as markets resumed trading after a long weekend, with signs of goodwill between Beijing and Washington supporting risk assets ahead of the expected signing of a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal.

The Nikkei share average .N225 advanced 0.7% to 24,025.17, its highest close since Dec. 17, while the broader Topix .TOPX added 0.3% to 1,740.53, also its four-week high.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday said China should no longer be designated a currency manipulator - a label it applied as the yuan slid in August. yen plumbed a near eight-month low versus the dollar of 110.22 yen JPY= , providing a tailwind for Japanese exporters as a weak local currency boosts corporate profits when they are repatriated, while the yuan climbed to its highest since July.

The announcement came as a high-level Chinese delegation arrived in Washington ahead of the signing of trade agreement on Wednesday aimed at easing tensions between the two countries. blue-chip exporters Sony Corp 6758.T climbed 2.5%, Panasonic Corp 6752.T rose 1.7% and Tokyo Electron 8035.T added 1.9%.

Among other gainers, SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T and Fast Retailing 9983.T , the Nikkei's top two heavyweights, rose 3.5% and 2.2%, respectively, on futures buying.

Aeon 8267.T advanced 2.6% after the retail giant announced the first change in its top leadership in 23 years. the overall trend, Nissan Motor 7201.T shed 3% to hit its lowest level in 8-1/2-years, a day after Renault shares RENA.PA hit six-year lows on worries that the French group's 20-year cost-sharing alliance with Nissan was headed for a break-up without Carlos Ghosn. Ryohin Keikaku 7453.T dived 19% after the operator of Muji stores forecast its net profit for the financial year ending February to fall 25.8%, worse than expected. market is now waiting for a new catalyst, other than an expected Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal, which has already been priced in," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

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