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TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei index closed above the 30,000-mark on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell views signalled that interest rates will remain low for an extended period. The Nikkei share average ended up 1.67% at 30,168.27. The broader Topix rose 1.22% to 1,926.23.

Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo brand clothing stores, rose 1.78%, making it the biggest contributor to the Nikkei’s gain. SoftBank Group, up 0.28%, was the second-biggest contributor.

Chip-related shares jumped, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.49% and Fanuc adding 5.65%. TDK gained 2.36%. Suzuki Motor weighed on the index by falling 3.3% after the automaker’s 91-year old chairman, Osamu Suzuki, announced his retirement. His announcement came less than a week after rival Honda Motor appointed a new CEO. Honda shares rose 1.24%.

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