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Japan shares rise as investors bet on fresh U.S….

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Aug 11 – Japanese shares on Tuesday rose by the most in a week on hopes for additional U.S. fiscal stimulus to bolster the world’s largest economy as major countries struggle to break free from the coronavirus epidemic.

The Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.59% at 22,686.10 by 0200 GMT with industrial and healthcare shares leading the gains. The broader Topix index rose 1.98%.

U.S. congressional leaders and officials in President Donald Trump’s administration said on Monday they were ready to resume negotiations on a coronavirus aid deal.

Trump signed executive orders restoring some unemployment payments and suspending payroll taxes on Saturday after talks stalled, highlighting the struggle to reach consensus.

Some investors are betting that U.S. Republicans and Democrats will eventually agree a comprehensive stimulus package, which supported Japanese stocks.

Other investors selectively bought shares of Japanese companies that have posted solid earnings as more companies report their results.

Shares also got a boost as the yen weakened slightly against the dollar, which tends to inflate exporters’ earnings.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were property developer Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd up 5.84%, followed by Honda Motor Co Ltd gaining 5.69%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were mobile operator and venture capitalist SoftBank Group Corp down 1.92%, followed by electronic parts maker Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd losing 1.08%.

Softbank is expected to report a 75% slump in first-quarter profit when it releases results after the market close on Tuesday.

Another notable mover was Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, which fell 4.24% after a ship it operates caused an oil spill near Mauritius.

There were 199 advancers in the Nikkei index against 23 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.71 billion, compared with the average of 1.2 billion in the past 30 days. (Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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