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Nikkei hits 21-year closing high

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The benchmark Nikkei average gained further ground and closed at the highest level in almost 21 years on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, inspired by Wall Street’s overnight rally.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 57.76 points, or 0.28 percent, to end at 20,881.27, the best closing since Dec. 5, 1996. The final reading topped 20,868.03 marked on June 24, 2015, the highest closing level since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to office in December 2012 and introduced his Abenomics economic policy mix.

The key market gauge extended its winning streak to a seventh session following a 132.80-point gain on Tuesday.

The TOPIX index of all First Section issues closed up 1.67 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,696.81, the highest finish since July 31, 2007, after climbing 7.98 point the previous day.

The Tokyo market got off to a weaker start due to selling to lock in profits from the recent advance, brokers said.

But after such selling ran its course, stocks recouped losses and climbed into positive territory due to buying supported by U.S. equities’ firmness that sent the Dow Jones industrial average rising to a fresh record high on Tuesday, brokers said.

Explaining another factor behind Tokyo stocks’ advance, an official of an asset management firm noted that “North Korea conducted no [major] provocations” on the anniversary on Tuesday of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The Nikkei hit the 21-year high “thanks to Abenomics,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at Toyo Securities Co. The policy package “finally worked,” Otsuka said.Speech

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