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REFILE-Nikkei touches 7-1/2 year high; weak Japan GDP offset by upbeat U.S. jobs
December 8, 2014 / 2:02 AM / 3 years ago

REFILE-Nikkei touches 7-1/2 year high; weak Japan GDP offset by upbeat U.S. jobs

(Corrects day of week to Monday from Friday in first paragraph)
    * Worse than expected Q3 GDP highlights economic woes
    * Weaker yen, US jobs data boosts exporters
    * Toyota set for 7th straight day of gains

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Dec 8(Reuters) - Japanese stocks were steady on
Monday as a downward revision in third quarter GDP figures
balanced hopes for exporters due to a weaker yen and optimism
over the U.S. economy.
    The Nikkei benchmark was flat at 17,916.83 at 0141
GMT, after breaking through the 18,000 barrier to hit a fresh
7-1/2 year high of 18,030.83.
    Revised data showed Japan's third quarter economic
contraction was deeper than first expected, surprising investors
and underlining the fragility of its economy, which has
struggled to rebound from a sales tax hike in April. [ID:
    An annualised drop of 1.9 percent - greater than the 1.6
percent fall initially reported, was driven by a downward
revision of capital expenditure.
    Confidence at Japanese manufacturers also slid in December,
a Reuters poll showed. [ID: nT9N0T800W]
    "The GDP figures put the brakes on the positive catalysts
from abroad," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at
Rakuten Securities.
    Data released on Friday showed that U.S employers added
321,000 jobs in November, a far brisker pace than expected,
helping Wall Street stocks post a seventh consecutive week of
gains. [ID: nL2N0TO1V4]
    The figures encouraged investors in Japanese exporters as
the strengthening U.S. market will help them weather slower
growth in China and a moribund eurozone economy.
    A weaker yen also helped boost exporters' prospects.
    The yen plummed a new seven-year lows of 121.84 against the
dollar on Monday morning. 
    Toyota Motor Corp jumped 1.3 percent, leaving the
automaker on course for a seventh day of gains. 
    Nissan Motor Co added 0.3 percent, while
electronics maker Nikon Corp also ticked up 0.3
     The broader Topix ticked down 0.1 percent to
1,444.90, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also shed
0.1 percent to 13,122.61.

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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