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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday, supported by rallies on Wall Street, a cheaper yen and well-received corporate earnings reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 2.41 percent, or 742.80 points, to 31,601.65 while the broader Topix index added 2.53 percent, or 56.96 points, to end at 2,310.68.

The yen dropped below 151 against the dollar overnight after the Bank of Japan further loosened its control of bond yields but stuck with sub-zero short-term interest rates.

Japan’s top currency official said on Wednesday that Tokyo was “on standby” to intervene.

The dollar fetched 151.26 yen in Asian trade, down from 151.68 yen in New York but still higher than 150.14 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday.

A cheaper yen makes Japanese equities more appealing to overseas investors while it inflates Japanese exporters’ repatriate profits and makes Japanese goods more price-competitive in foreign markets.

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