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Japan shares rise 0.61% by noon

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japanese shares rose 0.61 percent Friday morning despite losses on Wall Street as traders focused on a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Washington.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 80.57 points to 13,300.64 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was 0.09 percent, or 1.03 points, higher at 1,124.00.

"Buying on dips sustained the bottom as individual investors who failed to catch up with the recent gains remain bullish," said Katsuhiro Kondo, an analyst with Tokyo Tokai Securities.

"But in general, market participants are cautious today as they are closely monitoring comments from the G20 meeting on the yen's recent fall," Kondo said.

At the G20 meeting in Washington that finishes on Friday, Japan is expected to try to reassure other finance ministers and central bank governors that it is not intentionally weakening its yen with recent easing measures.

The Bank of Japan this month unleashed a huge stimulus package to kickstart its economy and bring an end to years of deflation. However, the move has led some to claim Tokyo is looking to give its exporters a trade advantage.

The dollar was trading at 98.62 yen in morning Asian trade Friday against 98.23 yen in New York late Thursday. The euro fetched $1.3064 and 128.87 yen, against $1.3050 and 128.21 yen.

On Thursday, US stocks faltered again following disappointing business results while initial jobless claims numbers also missed targets for the fourth time in five weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.56 percent to 14,537.14, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.67 percent to 1,541.61.

"Signs are beginning to point to a less-than-robust US economic rebound," SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

"This is a concern with Japan's corporate earnings reporting season set to hit high gear in the days ahead," Nishi said.

In Tokyo trade All Nippon Airways was flat at 204 yen and Japan Airlines was up 1.41 percent at 4,315 yen after a newspaper report said Japan plans to impose additional safety requirements on airlines flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130419/japan-shares-rise-061-noon