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Japan shares rise on robust U.S. data, China worries cap gains

By Stanley White

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Monday following robust U.S. jobs data, although gains were limited on concerns about Chinese economy and as the deadline for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods nears.

The Nikkei 225 index ended Monday up 0.33% at 23,430.70, with consumer discretionary and industrial sectors leading gains. The benchmark is up for a third straight session.

Data on Friday showed the U.S. economy created the most new jobs in 10 months and the jobless rate fell to the lowest in nearly half a century.

However, investors were cautious after China's exports fell for a fourth consecutive month in November as tariffs already put in place took their toll.

The focus shifts to the Dec. 15 deadline when U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods take effect, unless the two sides reach a compromise. Remarks around this issue could cause financial markets to swing wildly.

"Overall gains in Japanese shares look fairly subdued," said Yutaka Masushima, market analyst at Monex Securities in Tokyo.

"Some investors are afraid of chasing further upside from here because there has been a lot of resistance around the 23,500 mark. In addition, U.S. President Donald Trump's comments on trade talks have been so volatile we're not sure what is going to happen."

The largest percentage gainers in the index were oil supplier Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd up 4.19%, followed by testing equipment maker JGC Holdings Corp gaining 3.31% and industrial machinery maker IHI Corp up by 3.29%.

The largest percentage losses in the index were semiconductor testing equipment maker Advantest Corp down 2.95%, followed by electronic parts maker Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd losing 2.57% and drugs maker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd down by 2.2 %.

There were 177 advancers on the Nikkei index against 45 decliners on Monday.

The broader Topix rose 0.51% to 1,722.07,

The volume of shares traded 0.93 billion, compared to the average of 1.25 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Sam Holmes)