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TOKYO: Japanese shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by a rally in automakers after an analyst report gave positive earnings outlook for the sector, however caution ahead of US monthly non-farm payroll numbers capped gains.

The Nikkei share average advanced 0.65% to close at 27,457.89, while the broader Topic climbed 1.36% to 1,938.64.

“For the Nikkei to cross its most recent high on April 21, we need to see some catalysts that would ease investor sentiment,” said a strategist at a domestic brokerage, adding that Wall Street’s gain would also be needed.

The three major US stock indexes closed lower overnight, as volatile oil markets kept soaring inflation in focus and investors reacted to hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official.

Nissan Motor surged 7.77%, Toyota Motor gained 3.53% and Honda Motor advanced 4.3%, after J.P.

J.P. Morgan analysts said in a report that Japanese auto companies are likely to post record profits this year, as they raise vehicle prices and cut costs to mitigate the hit from soaring inflation.

Auto and parts sector rose 3.6% and was the top performer on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

Heavy machinery maker IHI jumped 7.31%.

Mercari surged 7.09% after the fleamarket app operator announced it would trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s prime trading board from Tuesday.

Drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo fell 4.88% and was the worst performer on the Nikkei, oil explorer Inpex, which fell 4.65%.

There were 196 advancers on the Nikkei index against 27 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.27 billion, compared to the average of 1.31 billion in the past 30 days.

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