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Tokyo: Nikkei index close higher

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Tokyo's main Nikkei index closed higher on Friday as the dollar's rebound encouraged buying, but the broader Topix was down, with little fresh news to guide investors.

[TOKYO] Tokyo's main Nikkei index closed higher on Friday as the dollar's rebound encouraged buying, but the broader Topix was down, with little fresh news to guide investors.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.73 per cent or 159.18 points to end at 21,870.56. Over the week, it rose 0.28 per cent.

The broader Topix index was down 0.07 per cent or 1.12 points at 1,605.40, falling 1.25 per cent since last Friday's close.

The market was "supported by a weaker yen," Okasan Online Securities said in a note, adding that rising Fast Retailing shares also boosted the main index.

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The dollar stood at 111.81 yen, holding onto gains made overnight on bright US jobs data, staying higher than 111.11 yen seen in Tokyo on Thursday.

Among major shares, Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing surged 7.89 per cent to 59,880 yen after releasing a robust six-month earnings report Thursday that showed brisk international sales.

Struggling engineering firm Toshiba dropped 2.71 per cent to 3,585 yen after it announced that Chinese chemicals maker ENN Ecological Holdings had decided not to buy the Japanese firm's liquefied natural gas operations in the United States.

The decision deals a serious blow to Toshiba, which is going through painful and sweeping reforms to stay afloat after logging billions of dollars in losses from its disastrous acquisition of US nuclear firm Westinghouse.

Panasonic jumped 2.75 per cent to 1,015 yen following a report that the firm was suspending plans with US electric vehicle maker Tesla to expand a battery plant in Nevada due to weak demand for the vehicles.

The firms froze a plan to boost capacity of the Gigafactory 1 battery factory "as concerns mount on Wall Street about weakening demand at Elon Musk's car company," Nikkei Asian Review reported.

A Tesla spokesperson said, "we will of course continue to make new investments in Gigafactory 1, as needed.

"However, we think there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated."

AFP