By Stanley White
TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Monday by the most in a month after data showed China's factory activity and domestic demand picked up, easing concern about the health of the world's second-largest economy.
The Nikkei index ended up 1.01% at 23,529.50, led by gains in the consumer discretionary sector and the industrial sector. So far this year the index is up 16.38%.
Japanese shares started brightly in reaction to government data released Friday that showed improvement in China's vast manufacturing sector, suggesting Beijing's stimulus measures are starting to support growth.
Shares extended gains after a separate survey of China's manufacturing sector was revised up to show the fastest growth in almost three years, but an ongoing trade war between the United States and China remains a risk to the outlook.
"The rebound in Chinese manufacturing data is supporting Japanese shares," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo
"In addition, U.S. online sales on Black Friday are another positive sign. If the world's two largest economies are on solid footing, then this is a good thing for Japanese companies."
There were 200 advancers on the Nikkei index against 24 decliners on Monday.
The largest percentage gainers in the index were electrical equipment makers GS Yuasa Corp up 4.02%, followed by Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd gaining 3.80% and machinery equipment maker Hitachi Zosen Corp up by 3.57%.
The largest percentage losses in the index were power cable maker Fujikura Ltd down 2.55%, followed by Suzuki Motor Corp losing 2.08% and property developer Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corp down by 0.93%.
Some Japanese shares got a boost after reports of robust online sales in the United States on Black Friday last week, when companies offer discounts to mark the start of the year-end shopping season.
Japanese stocks also rose after the yen fell to a six-month low of 109.73 versus the dollar. A weaker yen inflates exporters' earnings when repatriated from overseas.
The Topix index rose 0.89% on Monday to 1,714.49.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.95 billion, compared to the average of 1.26 billion in the past 30 days. (Editing by Stephen Coates)