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Nikkei Rises 1.3% to Highest in 4 Months

Asian stocks were trading higher on Monday in quiet trade with some markets closed for a public holiday.

Japan's Nikkei Average rose to its highest in four months as exporters climbed helped by stable currency moves, while Takashimaya gained after the department store chain kept its full-year profit forecast unchanged.

Adding to the upbeat mood, data before the start of trade showed Japan's industrial output rose a more-than-expected 2.6 percent in November, the strongest gain in six months as rising exports to Asia bode well for a recovering economy.

The Nikkei was up 1.3 percent at 10,634.23 at the close, its highest since Aug. 31. The Nikkei slipped 0.4 percent on Friday, a day after hitting a three-month closing peak, but it ended up 3.5 percent on the week and has risen nearly 20 percent so far this year.

The broader Topix added 0.6 percent to 914.78.

Exporters rose, led by Tokyo Electron, the world's No.2 semiconductor equipment maker, which gained 2.2 percent to 6,010 yen, while electronics parts maker Kyocera Corp advanced 1.2 percent to 8,270 yen. Honda Motor climbed 1.6 percent to 3,150 yen.

Shares of Takashimaya added 1.5 percent to 598 yen after Japan's third-largest department store chain kept its full-year profit forecast unchanged on Friday despite a sharp slide in
sales, saying extra cost-cutting would make up for the shortfall.

Shares of Skymark Airlines rose 1 percent to 396 yen after a source told Reuters that Japan's biggest budget carrier is ready to introduce seven more Boeing 737-800 planes to
its fleet if it can get 20 more landing slots at Tokyo's Haneda airport.

Seoul shares opened higher helped by rallies in stocks related to a major nuclear power deal including KEPCO and Hyundai E&C, but losses in banks like KB Financial weighed.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.2 percent at 1,685.59 points.

Australian markets were closed for a public holiday.

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