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Tokyo: Stocks close higher supported by tech rallies

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday, backed by rallies in the US tech sector and brisk earnings by Japanese chip-related firms.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.22 per cent or 48.98 points at 21,756.55, while the broader Topix index ended up 0.18 per cent or 2.76 points at 1,577.85.

"Japanese shares were supported by fresh records in the S&P and the Nasdaq... and also by the fact that chip-related shares were bought heavily" on sound corporate earnings, Mitsuhiro Shibata, strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in a commentary.

The dollar fetched 108.11 yen in late Asian trade, against 108.21 yen in New York late on Wednesday.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest surged 20.23 per cent to 4,160 yen in Tokyo after posting a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit.

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Shin-Etsu Chemical, which makes key semiconductor parts, also 7.24 per cent to 11,035 on strong quarterly earnings.

Nissan was down 2.04 per cent at 765.6 yen after the troubled car giant confirmed late Wednesday it will report a quarterly operating profit plunge later Thursday.

SoftBank Group ended up 1.79 per cent at 5,604 yen after reports that of impending US Justice Department approval for a T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

AFP

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