04:51 AM EST, 01/14/2020 (MT Newswires) -- The Nikkei 225 opened higher Tuesday after a three-day weekend and held its ground, to finish up 0.73% as traders mulled the Sino-US trade outlook and a softer yen, the latter regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan. The "safe-haven" yen traded at more than 110 to the US dollar for the first time in eight months, indicating a "risk-on" mood in the market, said analysts.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 174.60 to 24,025.17, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 126 to 93.
Leading the upside were FamilyMart (FYRTY, 8028:Tokyo), up 4.3%, followed by steelmaker JFE Holdings (JFEEF, 5411:Tokyo), up 4.1%, and then heavy-equipment maker IHI (IHICY, 7013;Tokyo), up 3.9%.
On the downside were Taiheiyo Cement (THYCF, 5233:Tokyo), off 4.0%, and then Nissan Motors (NSANY, 7201:Tokyo), off 3.0%.
In economic news, bank lending in Japan rose 1.8% in December year-over-year, compared with a 2.1% increase in November, reported the Bank of Japan. Also, Japan's current-account trade balance increased 75% to $13.0 billion in November year-over-year, with softer oil prices cited for the widening surplus. However, Japan goods exports in November fell 10.2% year-over-year, on shrinking shipments of vehicles and construction machinery to the US.
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