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TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average closed at its highest in more than seven weeks on Monday, as a weaker yen boosted automakers and other exporters, while trading firms gained on robust earnings outlook.

The Nikkei rose 0.67% to close at 27,693.65, its highest since Dec. 15. The broader Topix gained 0.45% to 1,979.22.

The yen weakened to a three-week low after a report Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya was being sounded out to be the next governor and strong U.S. jobs data suggested the Federal Reserve could stay hawkish for longer.

“The yen weakened and the U.S. economy looks firm, which is the best scenario for Japanese exporters,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

The auto industry index gained 1.35%, with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor rising 1.16% and 1.88%. respectively. Mitsubishi Motors jumped 4.95%.

Trading firms rose 2.38% to become the best performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes, after Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp lifted their full-year profit forecasts and promised to pay higher dividends.

Asia shares skid, dollar firm as yields spike

Mitsubishi Corp surged 7.84% to become the best performer on the Nikkei. Sumitomo Corp rose 1.34% and Mitsui gained 0.99%.

Oil explorers and refiners rose 2.38% and 2.21%, respectively.

The banking sector slipped 1.39% to become the worst sector.

There were 173 advancers on the Nikkei index against 43 decliners, with nine stocks flat.

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