September 24, 2019 / 3:44 AM / 25 days ago

Japan shares firm on trade optimism, Topix hits 5-month high

TOKYO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Tuesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary said U.S.-China talks will resume in early October and investors bought ahead of companies going ex-dividend later in the week.

The benchmark Nikkei average gained 0.2% to 22,131.77 points by the midday break, not far from its five-month peak touched on Thursday, while the broader Topix advanced 0.6% to 1,625.77, its highest level since April 24.

U.S. stock futures climbed 0.3%, helped by comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that U.S.-China trade talks will resume next week. He later clarified that the negotiations will take place in two weeks.

Market players said that Japanese the Topix futures were in demand by index and mutual funds before many stocks go ex-dividend on Friday.

However, a slowing global economy remained a headache for financial markets, as poor business activity readings from the euro zone deepened fears of a recession and suggested more stimulus was required.

Mining and sea transport were among the worst performing sectors of the Tokyo bourse’s 33 subsector indexes, down 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

Elsewhere, Oriental Land Co jumped 2.5% after the Tokyo Disney Resort operator announced it would raise theme park admission fees from Oct. 1. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake;)

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