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Tokyo stocks close 1.22% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks closed up 1.22 percent Wednesday thanks to a weakening yen and after Wall Street rebounded from a sharp sell-off in the previous session.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended 161.45 points higher at 13,382.89, while the Topix index of all first-section issues added 1.50 percent, or 16.81 points, to 1,136.01.

Analysts said upbeat economic numbers from the United States and the weaker yen were providing support after huge selling on Monday following the release by China of worse-than-forecast growth figures.

"Economic data out of the US, such as new home construction starts and (March) industrial production, came in better than expected," SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The yen looks like it is ready to resume its weakening trend," he added.

Wall Street's gains ended a two-day losing streak, with Monday's losses on the Dow the steepest in five months, as selling was fuelled partially by a double bomb attack in Boston that killed three people and wounded more than 180.

On Tuesday the Dow rose 1.08 percent, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.43 percent back towards recent record highs. The tech-based Nasdaq added 1.50 percent.

US traders welcomed solid housing starts data and good earnings reports from giants including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Intel.

The market is now closely watching the meeting of the Group of 20 economies this weekend, Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Japan's easing policy needs to be understood as a means to end deflation and to spur economic growth -- not a means to drive the yen down," he said.

"If that 'clears' the G-20, the yen will eventually hit 100 yen against the dollar, pushing up asset value stocks and cyclicals.

"Exporters will benefit but domestic-consumption driven shares will get the biggest boost."

The dollar resumed its advance in Asia, providing a fillip to Japanese exporters.

The greenback was changing hands at 98.29 yen in Asia, compared with 97.79 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon and well up from as low as 96 yen earlier in the week.

The euro was at 129.49 yen and $1.3175 Wednesday against 128.86 yen and $1.3180.

Nomura Holdings was down 2.33 percent at 754 yen following news that Italian financial police have impounded about 1.8 billion euros from one of its local units.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/tokyo-stocks-close-122-higher-0