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Tokyo stocks close higher as yen stays weak

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Pedestrians walk past a stock indicator showing share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on April 25, 2018. Tokyo stocks closed lower on April 25 extending falls on Wall Street over worries about higher interest rates, with investors waiting for earnings results. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Tokyo stocks closed higher Thursday as a cheaper yen helped boost market sentiment, with investors pursuing shares in companies expected to report brisk earnings.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.47 percent, or 104.29 points, to end at 22,319.61, while the broader Topix index was up 0.25 percent, or 4.40 points, at 1,772.13.

The dollar fetched 109.37 yen, little changed from 109.36 yen in New York but higher than 109.06 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday.

“Investors are seen eager to buy shares with good earnings reports, with a cheaper yen supporting Japanese shares,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

“Chip-related shares saw appetite from investors, pushing up the Nikkei 225 index,” SBI Securities said in a note to clients.

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron surged 8.42 percent to 21,050 yen after it reported a 77 percent surge in full-year net profit and forecast further profit growth in the current year to March.

Manufacturer of semiconductor parts Shin-Etsu Chemical rose 1.25 percent to 10,860 yen, while electronics giant Panasonic rose 0.77 percent to 1,617 yen and Sony ended up 0.60 percent at 5,443 yen.

Nintendo dropped 2.02 percent to 45,430 yen and Sharp was flat at 3,340 yen, before their earnings reports later Thursday.

Right after the market close, Sharp said its net earnings returned to black and that it expects net profit to rise 13 percent to 80 billion yen ($730 million) in the current year to March.


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