Tokyo shares up 1.17% by break, eyes on Greek talks

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TOKYO (AFP) – Tokyo stocks bounced back on Monday morning with the benchmark index up 1.17 percent as investors await developments in last-ditch talks aimed at hammering out a new bailout deal for Greece.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange — which dropped 3.70 percent last week — gained 231.44 points to 20,011.27 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.44 percent, or 22.80 points, to 1,606.35.

Investors appeared to be taking a wait-and-see approach as uncertainty swirled around a summit aimed at hammering out a debt deal for Greece.

During the high-stakes talks, Germany and other eurozone leaders handed Greece an ultimatum for desperately needed cash Sunday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel pushing for a temporary euro exit — or “time out” — if it does not agree.

Greece said the plans were “very bad”, but with its banks set to run dry in days it looked to have little choice but to bow to reform demands that effectively rob Athens of control of much its finances.

“Optimism about a deal is still dominant in the markets, although there are still various risk factors involving Greece that investors are keeping their eye on,” said Hiroaki Hiwata, at Toyo Securities.

“Also the fact that the Chinese market has somewhat stabilised is feeding some relief,” he added.

Fears over a Chinese rout subsided as Shanghai stocks surged again Friday after Chinese authorities beefed up measures to staunch a sell-off that has wiped trillions off mainland markets.

In early Japanese trade the euro dipped but managed to stave off heavy losses as the talks continued in Brussels.

It eased to $1.1130 from $1.1149 in New York late Friday. In earlier electronic trading, the single currency fell as low as $1.1089. It was also at 136.45 yen compared with 136.58 yen in US trade.

In share trading, Toyota jumped 2.12 percent to 8,093 yen while Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing climbed 0.91 percent to 54,500 yen.

After falling in earlier trade, Nintendo gained 1.20 percent to 19,750 by the break.

The see-saw moves in its share price came after the company said its chief executive Satoru Iwata had died of cancer at the age of 55, just months after he abandoned a consoles-only policy and launched a push into the booming smartphone games market.

2015-07-13

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