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Tokyo: Stocks close higher

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks gained on Wednesday with investors encouraged by solid US corporate earnings that sent Wall Street higher.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.46 per cent, or 103.77 points, to close at 22,614.25, while the broader Topix index was up 0.38 per cent, or 6.62 points, at 1,753.48.

"Brisk US corporate earnings led to risk-on sentiment," Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher Tuesday, backed by generally strong earnings from Google parent Alphabet, United Technologies and others.

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"Corporate results will be a major driving force for the time being in US markets," Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

Investors are also focused on Japanese corporate results as major firms are scheduled to announce their first quarter earnings for the fiscal year to March 2019 starting this week, Horiuchi said.

"The risk-on sentiment will be boosted if Japanese earnings can also show positive figures," he added.

The US government on Tuesday announced US$12 billion in aid for farmers who have been the primary targets of retaliation by trading partners facing President Donald Trump's punishing tariffs.

"President Trump is not only amping up the rhetoric, he has now also introduced offsetting measures against China's retaliation," said Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank.

"It doesn't seem like anyone will be blinking any time soon," he said in a client note.

The dollar was trading at 111.18 yen against 111.20 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

In Tokyo trade, Nissan rose 0.29 per cent to 1,035 yen and Honda gained 1.03 per cent to 3,327 yen.

But Mitsubishi Motors dropped 3.87 per cent to 893 yen with investors underwhelmed by its April-June profit growth.

Sony jumped 1.33 per cent to 5,915 yen but Panasonic edged down 0.03 per cent to 1,412 yen.

AFP