Nikkei rises as U.S. jobs data signals low rates; Rakuten falls on M&A news
TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged up on Monday in choppy trade as weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data spurred hopes that U.S. interest rates will stay low, while Rakuten Inc tumbled on news of a deal to buy a U.S. rebate site operator. Index heavy-weight SoftBank Corp, which has a stake of more than 30 percent in Alibaba, rose 2.1 percent and contributed a hefty 18.87 points to the Nikkei index on news that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N expects to price its initial public offering between $60 and $66 a share. . The Nikkei closed up 0.2 percent at 15,705.11, not too far from its seven-month high of 15,829.38 hit last week. The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,298.64, with only 1.78 billion shares changing hands, the lowest since September 1. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.4 percent to 11,778.63. Rakuten Inc dropped 4.2 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported the Japanese online retailer is finalising a deal to buy U.S. rebate site operator Ebates for more than 100 billion yen ($951 million). Rakuten's move to tap into overseas markets is seen as a positive, fund managers said, but some remain cautious about its aggressive investment strategy. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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