REFILE-Nikkei touches 7-1/2 year high; weak Japan GDP offset by upbeat U.S. jobs
(Corrects day of week to Monday from Friday in first paragraph) * Worse than expected Q3 GDP highlights economic woes * Weaker yen, US jobs data boosts exporters * Toyota set for 7th straight day of gains By Thomas Wilson TOKYO, Dec 8(Reuters) - Japanese stocks were steady on Monday as a downward revision in third quarter GDP figures balanced hopes for exporters due to a weaker yen and optimism over the U.S. economy. The Nikkei benchmark was flat at 17,916.83 at 0141 GMT, after breaking through the 18,000 barrier to hit a fresh 7-1/2 year high of 18,030.83. Revised data showed Japan's third quarter economic contraction was deeper than first expected, surprising investors and underlining the fragility of its economy, which has struggled to rebound from a sales tax hike in April. [ID: nL3N0TM2GJ] An annualised drop of 1.9 percent - greater than the 1.6 percent fall initially reported, was driven by a downward revision of capital expenditure. Confidence at Japanese manufacturers also slid in December, a Reuters poll showed. [ID: nT9N0T800W] "The GDP figures put the brakes on the positive catalysts from abroad," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. Data released on Friday showed that U.S employers added 321,000 jobs in November, a far brisker pace than expected, helping Wall Street stocks post a seventh consecutive week of gains. [ID: nL2N0TO1V4] The figures encouraged investors in Japanese exporters as the strengthening U.S. market will help them weather slower growth in China and a moribund eurozone economy. A weaker yen also helped boost exporters' prospects. The yen plummed a new seven-year lows of 121.84 against the dollar on Monday morning. Toyota Motor Corp jumped 1.3 percent, leaving the automaker on course for a seventh day of gains. Nissan Motor Co added 0.3 percent, while electronics maker Nikon Corp also ticked up 0.3 percent. The broader Topix ticked down 0.1 percent to 1,444.90, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also shed 0.1 percent to 13,122.61. (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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