Tokyo stocks end higher

Tokyo stocks ended higher on Monday as investors took heart from strong US jobs data and Israel’s withdrawal of forces from the southern Gaza Strip.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.91 percent, or 354.96 points, to end at 39,347.04, while the broader Topix index added 0.95 percent, or 25.70 points, to 2,728.32.

The dollar fetched 151.78 yen, against 151.61 yen in New York late Friday.

The US economy added 303,000 jobs in March, beating analyst expectations in the latest sign of labour market strength.

This data indicates the US economy remains in rude health but investors are optimistic that the US Federal Reserve will keep interest rates flat at its June policy meeting.

Adding to this are a weakening yen and “slightly waning concerns over geopolitical risks” linked to Israel’s partial withdrawal on Sunday, IwaiCosmo Securities said.

“These factors provided relief to investors, pushing the market, especially futures, higher”, the brokerage added.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group added 0.73 percent to 8,600 yen, Sony Group gained 0.15 percent to 12,800 yen and Toyota surged 2.18 percent to 3,698 yen.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing advanced 1.56 percent to 44,850 yen.

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