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TOKYO: Japanese shares ended higher for a third straight session on Wednesday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains, as a drop in oil prices lifted risk appetite, while a rise in Chinese stocks underpinned investor sentiment.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.7% to end at 25,762.01, while the broader Topix climbed 1.46% to 1,853.25.

Both the indexes accelerated gains as Chinese equities advanced after its Vice Premier Liu He indicated the nation plans to take measures to boost the economy and would also announce policies favourable to capital markets.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron, up 3.24%, was the top boost to Nikkei, followed by SoftBank Group jumping 5.96%.

The three main Wall Street stock indexes rallied overnight, a day before an expected interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, while oil prices dropped 7% on hopes of an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

The U.S. central bank is expected to raise rates for the first time in three years by at least 25 basis points amid surging prices. Traders will also be closely watching the Fed for details on how it plans to end its bond-buying program.

“A drop in oil prices eased investor sentiment. And investors hoped that (Federal Reserve Chair) Jerome Powell would indicate a clearer path for the rate increase to remove uncertainties,” said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

“But volatilities remain high and the markets are sensitive to any negative cues.”

Airlines rose 3.82%, leading gains among Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry subindexes, as Japan is set to announce the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions imposed on Tokyo and other prefectures.

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