Tokyo stocks open higher on sound China data

Tokyo, Dec 2 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday after weekend data showed China’s November factory activity had rebounded for the first time in seven months despite uncertainty over US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.43 percent, or 100.91 points, to 23,394.82 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.41 percent, or 7.00 points, at 1,706.36.

“China’s manufacturing PMI surpassed the 50 mark — the boundary between boom and bust — for the first time in seven months. That’s prompting buy orders in the Japanese market,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

The closely watched Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key gauge of activity in the country’s factories, rose to 50.2 in November, up from 49.3 last month, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.

The reading is slightly above the 50-point mark that signals growth or contraction for the world’s second-largest economy.

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The Japanese market has already factored in an element that dragged down US shares — fears that US-China relations may worsen after President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that voiced support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Kanayama said.

The dollar fetched 109.66 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.52 yen late Friday in London.

Among major shares in Tokyo, game giant Nintendo was up 1.18 percent at 42,850 yen, Sony climbed 1.10 percent 6,980 yen and Toyota rose 1.01 percent at 7,715 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended a holiday-shortened session on Friday down 0.4 percent at 28,051.41.

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