Tokyo shares close up

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Tokyo shares closed up 0.58 percent Monday as traders digested the Greek parliament's approval of fresh austerity measures needed in order for it to receive a crucial bailout.

The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 52.01 points to close at 8,999.18. The Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.34 percent, or 2.61 points, to 781.68.

The Greek move, announced shortly before the Tokyo bourse opened, helped lift the euro against major currencies in Asian trade.

The euro stood at $1.3254 and 102.82 yen, from $1.3181 and 102.47 yen. The dollar was flat at 77.59 yen.

The trend helps Japanese exporters by making their products relatively less expensive overseas.

“The stronger euro is aiding the index,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, head of investment strategy and research at Daiwa Securities.

But he warned that the market's excitement over the Greek decision, which had been expected, might be short lived as global investors wait to see how European and US markets react later in the day.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off Japan's announcement that its economy contracted by an annualised 2.3 percent in the October-December period.

The weaker-than-expected data came after Japanese manufacturers had to reduce production due to severe Thai flooding in the period, while struggling to deal with weak overseas demand and the strong yen.

Softbank was up 3.52 percent at 2,382 yen after a Nikkei report on Saturday that the company appears to have taken the lead in the race to access an important cell phone spectrum.

Dai Nippon Printing closed down 3.93 percent at 781 yen after cutting its profit view. Tepco was off 0.50 percent at 201 yen after spiking at 216 yen on high volume following news that additional government financial aid has been approved. - Sapa-AFP


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