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Tokyo's Nikkei closes higher for 7th straight session

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index rose for a seventh consecutive session on Wednesday on a weak yen, as investors welcomed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet reshuffle.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.96 per cent, or 205.66 points, to close at 21,597.76 while the broader Topix index was up 1.65 per cent, or 25.67 points, at 1,583.66.

"The market welcomed a weak yen" against the dollar, which has gained on the backdrop of a rise in US long-term interest rates, said Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi.

The dollar fetched 107.81 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 107.53 yen in New York late Tuesday.

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"The cabinet reshuffle is a positive factor as it appears to help raise Abe's approval rate," Mr Kinouchi said.

Mr Abe on Wednesday appointed new foreign and defence ministers and named Shinjiro Koizumi, a popular rising political star who is the son of former premier Junichiro Koizumi, as environment minister.

Carmakers were higher on the weak yen, with Nissan trading up 2.89 per cent at 718.4 yen, Honda up 3.74 per cent at 2,895.5 yen and Toyota up 2.39 per cent at 7,355 yen.

Some other exporters also rose, with Sony climbing 1.28 per cent to 6,451 yen and Nikon up 2.53 per cent at 1,417 yen.

Banks rallied following a rise in US long-term interest rates. Mitsubishi UFJ jumped 4.43 per cent to 570 yen with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial up 3.14 at 3,772 yen.

AFP