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Nikkei rises to more than 1-week high on yen; shipping sector surges
July 10, 2017 / 6:25 AM / 5 months ago

Nikkei rises to more than 1-week high on yen; shipping sector surges

* Shippers soar as companies integrate container businesses

* Tech shares outperform the market, cyclicals up too

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose to more than one-week highs on Monday after Wall Street gained on Friday, while the dollar strengthened against the yen on the heels of U.S. jobs data that gave investors more confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.

The Nikkei gained 0.8 percent to 20,080.98, the highest closing level since June 29.

“It’s a straightforward market today. There is demand in cyclical stocks such as automakers and tech stocks taking cues from U.S. shares,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

The marine transport sector was the best sectoral performer after the three major shippers established a holding company and an operating company to integrate their container shipping businesses.

Nippon Yusen KK gained 1.4 percent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha surged 2.9 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd jumped 5.0 percent.

Overall sentiment was positive after U.S. jobs growth beat forecasts, lifting the dollar against the yen. The dollar was 0.2 percent higher at 114.16, after notching a high of 114.21, its loftiest level since May 11.

Tech shares were in demand. Advantest Corp rose 1.9 percent, Tokyo Electron climbed 2.3 percent and Panasonic Corp added 1.8 percent.

U.S. job growth surged more than expected in June and employers increased hours for workers, suggesting the Federal Reserve could stick to its plan for its third interest rate hike this year and begin to reduce its balance sheet despite sluggish wage gains and tepid inflation.

Japanese banking shares languished, with Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group both dropping 0.6 percent.

The broader Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,615.48, with 1.54 billion shares changing hands, the lowest level in two weeks. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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