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Tokyo: Shares end higher on dovish Fed chief

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks ended higher on Wednesday as investors welcomed dovish comments on monetary policy from Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.50 per cent, or 107.12 points, to 21,556.51, while the broader Topix index was up 0.20 per cent, or 3.22 points, at 1,620.42.

Gains in regional shares, notably in Chinese and Hong Kong markets, also brightened the sentiment.

"Continued optimism for the improvement of the (overseas) environment put Tokyo shares in higher ranges," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

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Investors were comforted by how Mr Powell's appearance in front of US lawmakers in Washington ended without a hitch, it said.

Bargain-hunting from the previous day's losses began earlier in the day, helping to create the market's upward momentum.

But a lack of fresh news stopped the Nikkei from soaring further in the afternoon session, when other regional shares also began to trim earlier gains, the brokerage said.

"The market stayed on a solid footing, but attempts were limited to test the upper resistance amid a dearth of fresh incentives," Okasan said.

The dollar stood at 110.51 yen, against 110.58 yen in New York on Tuesday, when Wall Street finished slightly lower.

In Tokyo, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing jumped 2.67 per cent to 52,250 yen, while Sony added 0.96 per cent to 5,382 yen. Nintendo rose 2.82 per cent to 31,330 yen.

But SoftBank Group dipped 0.19 per cent to 10,305 yen and Toyota lost 0.22 per cent to 6,780 yen.

AFP