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Tokyo stocks close higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday as investors bought on dips after the benchmark Nikkei fell for the third straight session, with a cheaper yen providing support to the market.

The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.97 per cent, or 198.93 points, to end at 20,773.56. It climbed 0.52 per cent over the week.

The broader Topix index rose 0.87 per cent, or 13.50 points, to 1,566.10. It gained 0.55 per cent over the week.

"Major shares were bought back on the support of a weaker yen," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

"But investors are also in a wait-and-see mode ahead of major events next week and financial results," he added.

"The market has already shifted its focus to next week's negotiation in Washington," Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

A high-level Chinese delegation is due in Washington next week for talks to resolve the dispute by March 1, when US duty rates on Chinese imports are due to rise sharply.

The US dollar changed hands at 109.80 against 109.57 yen in New York on Thursday.

In Tokyo, Nissan jumped 2.45 per cent to 927.7 yen after its alliance partner French carmaker Renault named two experienced auto executives to replace detained boss Carlos Ghosn.

Hitachi fell 0.23 per cent to 3,381 yen after its chairman reportedly said its frozen nuclear power project in Britain can only be revived if it is nationalised.

Fast Retailing was up 0.42 per cent to 49,850 yen while Sony rose 1.23 per cent to 5,324 yen.

On Thursday, Wall Street stocks were mixed after US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the United States and China were "miles and miles" from resolving their trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.1 per cent but the broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.1 per cent.