TOKYO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Monday with financial and exporter stocks leading gains, offsetting weakness in construction stocks after news prosecutors raided the headquarters of at least two construction firms for alleged antitrust violations.
The Nikkei share average .N225 gained 1.1 percent to 22,810.56 in midmorning trade, with sentiment boosted by a strong performance on Wall Street on Friday on expectations U.S. lawmakers will pass a long-awaited tax bill.
On the other hand, the construction sector .ICNST.T slipped 0.4 percent and was the worst performer on the board after news Tokyo prosecutors had raided the headquarters of at least two of Japan's biggest construction firms for alleged antitrust violations linked to $80 billion worth of magnetic levitation (maglev) train line projects. Corp 1803.T and Kajima Corp 1812.T were raided early on Monday morning, spokesmen for the two companies separately said, sending both stocks 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent lower, respectively.
The broader Topix .TOPX advanced 1.1 percent to 1,812.96.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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