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Tokyo: Shares close higher ahead of Fed speech

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[TOKYO] Tokyo shares closed higher on Friday, supported by gains in Chinese shares, while investors awaited a key address by the US Federal Reserve chair.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.40 per cent, or 82.90 points, to end at 20,710.91. Over the week, it climbed 1.43 per cent.

The broader Topix index rose 0.28 per cent, or 4.19 points, to 1,502.25. Over the week, it was up 1.14 per cent.

However, many Tokyo investors were sitting on their hands before Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers a highly anticipated speech at the annual Jackson Hole conference of central bankers later in the day.

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US President Donald Trump has been openly criticising Powell and demanding the Fed cut rates further to prop up the economy.

"Tokyo shares advanced steadily, helped by gains in Hong Kong and Shanghai shares," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

But it added that traders were in wait-and-see mode ahead of the Fed speech.

The dollar bought 106.62 yen in Asian trade, slightly higher from 106.42 yen in New York.

Among major shares, Sony added 0.88 per cent to 5,903 yen, while Toyota climbed 0.14 per cent to 6,916 yen.

SoftBank Group was down 0.14 per cent to 4,738 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was up 0.37 per cent at 502.4 yen.

AFP