The Nikkei 225 Monday gained 0.52% as traders eyed prospects for a monetary-tightening decision soon by the U.S. Federal Reserve, a move that would tend to strengthen the U.S. dollar against the yen, considered a positive in export-oriented Japan. Also, no new tensions emerged on the Korean peninsula.

In other news, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pondering “snap election” within several weeks to take advantage of present approval ratings and disarray in the main opposition party, reported Japanese media.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 102.06 to 19,909.50, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 144 to 76.

Leading the upside were chemical-concern Showa Denko (SHWDY, 4014:Tokyo), up 7.4%; followed by Tokai Carbon (TKCBY, 5301:Tokyo), up 5.3%; and then camera-house Konica Minolta (KNCAY, 4902:Tokyo), up 4.8%.

On the downside were J Front Retailing (JFROF, 3016:Tokyo), off 4.3%; and then department-store chain Isetan Mitsukoshi (IMHDF, 3099:Tokyo), off 3.7%.

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