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Tokyo stocks close higher after Abe-Trump meeting

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A man walks past a stock indicator showing share prices of US companies in Tokyo on April 18, 2018.<br />Tokyo stocks closed solidly higher on Wednesday, helped by gains on Wall Street and a weaker yen, as investors digested news from the US-Japan summit talks. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI

Tokyo stocks closed marginally higher on Thursday after a joint post-summit news conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump delivered few surprises.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.15 percent, or 32.98 points, to 22,191.18 while the broader Topix index was marginally higher, adding 0.51 points to 1,750.18.

“It shows that sentiment is largely positive that the Nikkei managed to close in positive territory for the fifth straight day,” said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

Investors were relieved that “the Abe-Trump summit gave no positive surprise but no negative surprise either”, he told AFP.

The market focus will now move to corporate earnings, he added as the earnings season gets underway in Japan next week.

At the news conference in Florida broadcast shortly before the opening bell in Tokyo, a reluctant Abe said Tokyo was ready to begin talks about “trade deals” with the US, but stopped short of committing to a bilateral deal.

The dollar edged up to 107.40 yen from 107.25 yen in New York late Wednesday.

In stocks trade, banks were higher with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial up 1.26 percent at 714.4 yen.

Some exporters gave up early gains to close lower as investors locked in profits. Toyota ended down 0.20 percent at 6,923 yen, Panasonic was down 0.50 percent at 1,567.5 yen and Olympus slipped 0.37 percent to 4,010 yen.


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