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Tokyo investors eye Japan data, Fed meet minutes this week

Tokyo stocks have returned to their winning ways as the Nikkei 225 index finished at a more than five-month high Friday, with investors looking to minutes from the Fed’s June meeting and Japanese data this week.

Among key data slated for release in the coming days are Japanese current account figures and machinery orders which could further cement hopes for a pickup in the world’s number three economy, Nomura Securities said in a note to clients.

Machinery orders, a key leading indicator of corporate capital spending, “are expected to show continued strength, supported by a recovery in the international economy,” Nomura said.

Investors will also examine minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy setting meeting last month to gauge the outlook for the central bank’s future monetary policy.

Rising investor confidence has helped drive up the Nikkei index, after strong U.S. jobs data sparked another record-breaking advance on Wall Street and a dollar rally against the yen.

On Friday, the headline index added 88.84 points to finish at 15,437.13, its best close since late January, and marking a 2.27% gain over the week. The index is still down about 5% from its 2013 closing high. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.52%, or 6.65 points, to 1,285.24 on Friday, adding 2.56% on the week.

Nomura and Daiwa Securities separately tapped the Nikkei to cross the 16,000 level on blossoming hopes for a continuing economic recovery in Japan.

Global equities jumped as the U.S. Labor Department announcement on Thursday that the world’s top economy added 288,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1% from 6.3% in May, suggesting that a recovery was well on track.

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