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Tokyo shares close 0.53% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo shares closed 0.53 percent higher Monday thanks to a weakening yen and as traders followed another record finish for the Dow on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 65.43 points to 12,349.05, while the the Topix index of all first-section shares added 1.91 percent, or 19.48 points, to 1,039.98.

The market was tipped to trend higher on continued weakness of the yen against the dollar, particularly after US jobs data came in better than expected on Friday, analysts said.

"The yen continues to be the focus of attention," SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

Nishi added that the market appeared "technically overbought in the short-term".

Investors largely shrugged off a 13.1 percent month-on-month drop in January machinery orders, as the key leading indicator suggested manufacturers were holding off making new investments.

However, Japan eased out of recession in the last quarter of 2012, with modest growth that analysts said underpins a strengthening economy, as the government and central bank up their fight against deflation.

On Monday, Haruhiko Kuroda, the government's nominee to head the Bank of Japan, repeated his promise to conquer more than a decade of falling prices, which have weighed on growth by crimping private spending and business investment.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at a fresh record for the fourth straight session after the US Labor Department said the economy generated a net 236,000 new jobs in February, far more than expected. The unemployment rate also dropped to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.

That pushed the Dow over the 14,400 line for the first time, before finishing at 14,397.07, up 0.47 percent.

In Monday afternoon Tokyo forex trade, the greenback bought 96.07 yen, against 95.97 yen in New York late Friday, while the euro strengthened to 125.01 yen from 124.83 yen.

Sony rose 3.0 percent to 1,508 yen, Canon jumped 3.54 percent to 3,505 yen and Toyota Motor gained 1.83 percent to 5,000 yen.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130311/tokyo-shares-close-053-higher