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TOKYO: Japanese shares hit multi-year highs on Tuesday as progress in developing an inexpensive coronavirus vaccine boosted hopes of a swift economic recovery, with sentiment aided by a formal transition approval for US President-elect Joe Biden. The Nikkei 225 Index ended up 2.50% at 26,165.59, the highest close since May 1991. The broader Topix rose 2.23% to 1,765.91, the highest in more than two years. Energy, real estate, and financial shares led the advance.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd, up 4.98%, followed by Hoya Corp that gained 4.54%. The underperformers among the Topix 30 were KDDI Corp, down 1.25%, followed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp that lost 1.20%. There were 205 advancers on the Nikkei index against 19 decliners. The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 1.2 billion, compared to the average of 1.15 billion in the past 30 days.