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Tokyo: Nikkei index up 0.25% in five-day winning streak


[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark stock index rose 0.25 per cent on Friday, marking a five-day winning streak as fears ease over Greece's debt crisis and China's stock market rout.

The Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 50.80 points to end at 20,650.92, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.13 per cent, or 2.11 points, at 1,662.94.

Traders are moving into the dollar after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said she expects rates to rise by the year's end as the world's top economy gets back on track.

Buying sentiment has also perked up as worries about a Greek exit from the euro have melted away and mainland Chinese markets pick up after a hair-raising dive over the last month.

"The US economy is looking strong, with the corporate sector doing well and employment recovering," Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura, told Bloomberg News.

"The weaker yen will feed through to Japanese companies' earnings and boost the nation's shares. But we might see some profit-taking." The dollar bought 124.18 yen in morning trade against 124.14 yen in New York, before slipping back to 124.03 yen by mid afternoon. The unit was below 124 yen on Thursday.

Mobile carrier SoftBank rose 0.61 per cent to 7,071 yen, major bank Mitsubishi UFJ added 1.19 per cent to 902.1 yen while rival Mizuho Financial group gained 0.37 per cent to 270 yen.

Toshiba added 2.03 per cent to 376.8 yen. After markets closed, Toshiba said it would release next week an independent report on accounting irregularities at the sprawling conglomerate which makes everything from batteries to nuclear reactors.

The company overstated around 200 billion yen in its group operating profits for the five years to March 2014, local media have said, adding that its president could be forced to resign over the issue.