Japanese stocks gain, with yen boosting exporters

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks advanced early Monday, with exporters mostly higher as the yen weakened against the dollar, and with banks also rising ahead of a key meeting of French and German leaders slated for later in the day. The Nikkei Stock Average added 0.4% to 8,680.63, while the Topix also added 0.4%. With the U.S. dollar back above ¥78, blue-chip exporters made gains, with Sony Corp. rose 0.6%, Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 1.9%, and Mazda Motor Corp. added 1.4%. Financials were also broadly firmer, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. ahead by 1.4%, and Nomura Holdings Inc. up 1.2%. Among other gainers, Fast Retailing Co. added 3.8% after reporting late Friday same-store sales at its Uniqlo clothing chain for November fell less than in the previous month.

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