Gains limited at Tokyo market due to swine flu concerns - Summary

JapanTokyo - The Tokyo market closed modestly higher Monday after optimism was dampened by concerns over the spread of swine flu. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 18.35 points, or 0.21 per cent, to close at 8,726.34.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also up 3.05 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 833.1.

Market sentiment was boosted in morning trading after Wall Street advanced before the weekend thanks to US carmaker Ford Motor Co reported better-than-expected earnings.

However, investor optimism was cautioned by growing concerns over an outbreak of swine influenza that has killed at least 20 people in Mexico. Mexican officials said 100 people in total have died in the country from flu, however, it remained unclear how many of the victims had contracted swine flu.

Buying slowed in the afternoon session in Tokyo as investors worried about the spread of Mexico's swine flu outbreak.

On currency markets at midday (0300 GMT), the dollar traded at 96.75-80 yen, down from Friday's 5 pm quote of 97.06-09 yen.

The euro traded at 1.3165-70 dollars, down from late Friday's quote of 1.3190-93 dollars, and at 127.41-46 yen, down from 128.05-09 yen. (dpa)

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