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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed higher on Wednesday, helped by a cheaper yen and gains on Wall Street, where investors were encouraged by better-than-expected US housing starts data and solid corporate earnings.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.86 percent, or 232.76 points, to close at 27,217.85, while the broader Topix index rose 1.03 percent, or 19.45 points, to 1,915.15.

The dollar continued to gyrate, standing at 128.66 yen in the afternoon in Tokyo, off from the day’s high of 129.39 yen in early trade, after it changed hands at 128.89 yen in New York late Tuesday.

“Investors cheered the overnight gains on Wall Street, sending the Nikkei higher at the open,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Japan’s Nikkei rises; weaker yen, earnings caution cap below 27,000 mark

“The market welcomed the yen’s continued slide, which encouraged players to buy back exporter shares. Buying later spread to a broad range of shares.”

But many players also locked in gains by mid-morning, forcing the market to trim its increases.

Among major shares, exporters were strongly higher. Toyota jumped 3.74 percent to 2,258.5 yen, while Nissan roared 4.66 percent to 550.9 yen.

Sony Group added 1.33 percent to 11,430 yen. Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing jumped 2.50 percent to 64,470 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group firmed 2.53 percent to 774.4 yen, while SoftBank Group rose 1.44 percent to 5,627 yen.

Tokyo Electron, a major producer of tools to build semiconductors, fell 1.25 percent to 54,730 yen.

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