Tokyo stocks close up

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JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed 2.43 percent higher on Monday as the yen sank on reports Japan is set to nominate Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda as the next central bank governor.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 276.58 points to 11,662.52, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.79 percent, or 17.22 points, to 980.70.

Japan's leading Nikkei business daily and other media reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet would nominate Kuroda as the next central bank governor, a move likely to push the yen down further on speculation that it will usher in more aggressive monetary easing.

“Kuroda's reported selection is unquestionably a positive for stocks, as reflected in the yen's reaction,” SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

Kuroda is a supporter of Abe's prescription for Japan's ailing economy: big spending and aggressive easing, which tends to weigh on the yen.

A weaker yen helps make Japan's exporters more competitive overseas.

Major exporters rose with Toyota Motor up 1.37 percent at 4,795 yen and Sony 3.39 percent higher at 1,340 yen, while Canon rose 1.80 percent to 3,375 yen.

Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo cheap chic clothing chain, jumped 3.29 percent to 26,000 yen.

In afternoon forex trade, the dollar bought 94.23 yen from 93.37 yen in New York late Friday, while the euro fetched 124.44 yen from 123.18 yen.

Electronics maker Sharp plunged 5.16 percent to 294 yen following news reports that it would suspend tie-up negotiations with Taiwan's Hon Hai and search for new capital partners.

The Tokyo stock market also got a positive lead from Wall Street, where the Dow jumped 0.86 percent to 14,000.57 Friday on renewed confidence that the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme would continue. - Sapa-AFP

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