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Tokyo stocks close higher after US bounce

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A man walks past a stock indicator board showing the share prices of Japanese companies on November 21, 2018. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors took heart from a slightly cheaper yen and a rebound in US shares, but trade was cautious ahead of holidays in Japan and the US.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.65 percent, or 139.01 points, to close at 21,646.55, while the broader Topix index ended up 0.81 percent, or 13.07 points, at 1,628.96.

The dollar changed hands at 113.02 yen in Asian trade, barely changed from 113.04 yen in New York but was up from 112.82 yen late Tokyo time on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, share prices recovered as the technology sector ended a two-day haemorrhage, although analysts said the respite may be temporary.

“Japanese shares are supported by the halt in falls in US shares and a cheaper yen against the dollar,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex.

“Institutional investors are in a strong wait-and-see attitude” ahead of three days of holidays in Japan, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Currency trade was also subdued ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US later Thursday, analysts said.

Some blue-chip exporters were higher, with Olympus gaining 1.20 percent to end at 3,350 yen and Panasonic closing up 0.49 percent at 1,108 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial dropped 1.43 percent to 626.7 yen after a report said US prosecutors were investigating the Japanese mega-bank over alleged breaking of anti-money laundering rules involving North Korea.

Nissan closed up 0.77 percent at 961.5 yen ahead of its board meeting that will propose the sacking of its disgraced chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Its smaller sister firm Mitsubishi Motors was up 0.14 percent at 674 yen.


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