August 8, 2016 / 2:22 AM / 2 years ago

Nikkei gains on strong US job data, weaker yen

* Nikkei up 2.1 pct, touches 1-week high

* Exporters lifted as yen pulls back from recent peaks

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Monday, buoyed by gains on Wall Street and the yen’s retreat following Friday’s upbeat U.S. non-farm payrolls report.

The Nikkei was up 2.1 percent at 16,592.05 points, after touching a 1-week high of 16,612.13.

U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 255,000 in July versus expectations for a gain of 180,000. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq reached record peaks in response while the dollar gained against the yen.

Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said equities reacted positively to the jobs report as the data shed a positive light on the U.S. economy while prospects of a near-term rate hike by the Federal Reserve - generally seen as a negative to riskier assets - remained subdued.

“The Fed funds rate futures are still only pricing in about a 26 percent chance a U.S. rate hike in September and October, and about a 46 percent chance for December. This shows investors don’t really expect the Fed to hike rates until December,” Fujito said.

Exporters were lifted as the dollar pulled away from 3-week lows against the yen. Tokyo Electron gained 4.5 percent, Bridgestone Corp advanced 3.2 percent and Toyota Motor Corp added 2.8 percent.

Financial results continued to provide the market with incentives, with Tokyo Construction Co Ltd rising 7.4 percent after it saw its operating profit rise more than 200 percent in the April-June quarter.

Dowa Holdings rose as much as 14.2 percent after the non-ferrous metals smelter reported April-June operating profit fell by 34.2 percent to 7.62 billion yen ($74.63 million), higher that expectations of around 6.5 billion yen.

Japan Display Inc was down 9.1 percent after the Nikkei reported that the display maker requested cash assistance from its top shareholder due to sluggish LCD panel shipments for iPhones.

The broader Topix climbed 1.6 percent to 1,299.93 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 1.6 percent to 11,699.42. ($1 = 102.1100 yen) (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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