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TOKYO: Japanese shares ended higher on Thursday, led by heavyweight tech stocks that tracked gains on the Nasdaq, with chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron providing the biggest boost for the Nikkei.

The Nikkei share average closed 1.46% higer at 28,550.93, following two sessions of declines, while the broader Topix rose 0.67% to 1,986.97.

Overnight, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 gained after the Federal Reserve signalled it could start reducing its crisis-era support for the US economy, which raised recovery hopes.

Concerns over inflation, however, persisted and sent the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes lower.

"Markets remain conscious about US interest rates because they affect US growth stocks, which influence Nikkei's heavyweights," said Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

Tokyo Electron lifted the Nikkei the most by rising 5.18%, while peer Advantest gained 3.83%.

Medical equipment makers Olympus and Terumo rose 3.19% and 1.77%, respectively.

Casual restaurant shares rose on hopes of a reopening economy, with Saizeriya surging 12.99% and Yoshinoya Holdings jumping 9.42%.

Bucking the trend, Japanese medical devices maker PHC Holdings fell more than 10% on its market debut, despite pricing its stock at the bottom of a targeted range.

Shippers and oil refiners led declines among the exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes, falling 3.93% and 2.27%, respectively.

There were 136 gainers on the Nikkei index against 85 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 1.15 billion, compared to the average of 1.32 billion in the past 30 days.

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