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Tokyo stocks close 0.30% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks closed 0.30 percent higher Thursday, tracking the Dow on Wall Street after it added to the previous session's record high.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which hit a four-and-a-half-year high on Wednesday, gained 35.81 points to 11,968.08, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.11 percent, or 1.13 points, to 1,004.35.

"Japan shares are finding a confluence of supportive factors -- a buoyant overseas market, a generally weaker-trending yen, and signs that the US economy is recovering," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.30 percent to 14,296.24, a new all-time high, on Wednesday.

The rise came despite a mixed report on US economic conditions from the Federal Reserve.

Although the Fed's Beige Book showed "modest to moderate" economic expansion, it noted concerns about the impact of new tax hikes on consumer spending.

On currency markets, the dollar changed hands at 93.92 yen in Tokyo trade against 94.04 yen in New York Wednesday, but well up from 93.17 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The euro bought 122.06 yen, nearly flat with 122.00 yen in US trade, ahead of a policy meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.

Forex markets moved little after the Bank of Japan ended a two-day meeting -- the last under governor Masaaki Shirakawa -- without any new policy measures, a widely expected move as the BoJ gets set for new management known to favour aggressive easing.

In Tokyo, Dreamliner battery maker GS Yuasa soared 8.98 percent to 437 yen on a report the Federal Aviation Administration would allow flight tests for the trouble-hit Boeing 787, a key step in efforts to get the grounded aircraft back in the air.

Olympus jumped 5.54 percent to 2,210 yen after the leading Nikkei economic daily said the camera and medical equipment maker planned to cut interest-bearing debt by 100 billion yen by March next year.

Sharp fell 7.92 percent to 314 yen following a 14 percent surge a day earlier stemming from its tie-up with Samsung. After markets closed Wednesday, Sharp confirmed earlier reports it had agreed to a $111 million capital injection deal with its South Korean rival.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130307/tokyo-stocks-close-030-higher-0