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Nikkei climbs 2.3 pct as yen retreats, best one-day gain in 3 months

Monday, 9 Dec 2013 | 1:11 AM ET

* Nikkei up nearly 51 pct year-to-date

* Nikkei heads for best yearly gain since 1972

TOKYO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei climbed 2.3 percent on Monday, its best one-day gain in three months, spurred by a slide in the yen after an upbeat U.S. jobs report raised expectations the Federal Reserve will soon begin removing its stimulus. The Nikkei ended 350.35 points higher at 15,650.21, while the yen was down 0.2 percent at 103.08 to the dollar , adding to Friday's 1.1 percent slide and edging closer to a six-month low of 103.38 yen touched last week.

Monday's gain took the Nikkei close to a six-month intraday high of 15,794.15 reached last week. Declines in the yen tend to boost sentiment towards Japanese equities because investors expect the weaker currency will inflate overseas earnings for exporters such as industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp, auto parts maker Denso Corp, and electronic and ceramic component maker Kyocera Corp . Fanuc, Denso and Kyocera were up between 2.5 and 3.8 percent. Yahoo Japan Corp jumped 6.4 percent to a two-month high after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral' and added it to its list of 'conviction buy.' The broader Topix index close up 1.6 percent at 1,255.32, with 2.11 billion shares changing hands, down from last week's daily average of 2.41 billion shares. Including Monday's rally, the benchmark Nikkei is up nearly 51 percent this year, heading for its best yearly gain since 1972. Japanese stocks has been driven by the yen's weakness on the back of Tokyo's aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus.