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Tokyo: Benchmark index climbs to new 15-year high


[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index climbed 1.87 per cent Tuesday to close at a new 15-year high on hopes for a Greek bailout deal.

The Nikkei 225 index soared 381.23 points to end at 20,809.42, after busting through 20,700 for the first time since April 2000.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 1.69 per cent, or 27.79 points, at 1,676.40.

The gains followed rallies in European and US markets.

"Advances in the Greek situation are behind the flow of funds into US and European stocks," Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"It's difficult to judge without knowing the proposal's contents in detail, but the market appears to be seeing it as a step forward." Greece on Sunday offered an 11th-hour proposal of economic reforms in exchange for the last payment of 7.2 billion euros from its current aid programme.

Eurozone leaders said they hoped to finally seal a deal this week to save Athens from default and a possible messy exit from the euro, but Germany warned that more hard work was needed.

The euro declined to $1.1250 and 139.17 yen from US$1.1340 and 139.91 yen in New York late Monday.

The dollar rose to 123.67 yen from 123.38 yen in US trade.

In Tokyo share trading Toshiba rose 0.93 per cent to 429.8 yen despite a report in the Nikkei business daily that improper accounting had been found in nearly all of the company's key businesses.

Sharp fell 1.80 per cent to 163 yen as the struggling electronics maker explained revival plans at a general shareholders' meeting.