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Tokyo shares close 1.45% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks jumped 1.45 percent Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street and after Japan's parliament approved a new central bank governor expected to take aggressive action to stoke the economy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 179.76 points to 12,560.95, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.30 percent, or 13.48 points, at 1,051.65.

The Tokyo market won some support after US data showed jobless claims declined for the third week in a row, sending the broad-based S&P 500 index to within a whisker of an all-time high.

That helped the Dow close at a record high for the eighth straight day.

Japan's parliament on Friday formally approved Haruhiko Kuroda and his deputies as the Bank of Japan's new leadership team, widely expected to take more aggressive monetary policy as soon as April when the new-look BoJ holds its first policy meeting.

"We think a constant battle to meet market expectations lies ahead for the new BoJ leadership," Naohiko Baba, chief economist at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In Tokyo stock trading, Sony soared 10.98 percent to 1,668 yen after Credit Suisse boosted its target price on the stock, while automaker Honda gained 2.55 percent to 3,820 yen and Toyota added 1.41 percent to 5,020 yen. Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing rose 0.33 percent to 30,400 yen.

GS Yuasa, which makes batteries for the grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliner, was up 1.36 percent at 448 yen while All Nippon Airways, a major Dreamliner customer, rose 1.44 percent to 212 yen after the aircraft's manufacturer said it was "absolutely safe" and would be flying again within weeks.

Japan Tobacco shares slipped 1.76 percent to 3,075 yen as the company wraps up a partial sale of the government's stake in the former monopoly, which was expected to raise about $7.8 billion.

In forex trading, the dollar bought 96.08 yen, flat with its level in New York on Thursday. The euro was at 125.10 yen against 124.91 yen.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130315/tokyo-shares-close-145-higher-0