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Nikkei closes above 21,000 for 1st time in 21 years

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The benchmark Nikkei average surged to top 21,000 for the first time in nearly 21 years on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, supported by brisk corporate earnings.

The 225-issue Nikkei average jumped 200.46 points, or 0.96 percent, to end at 21,155.18, ending above 21,000 for the first time since Nov. 29, 1996. The key market gauge extended its winning streak to a ninth session after climbing 73.45 points on Thursday.

The TOPIX index of all First-Section issues closed up 8.49 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,708.62, the best finish since July 26, 2007. It rose 3.32 points the previous day.

Stocks attracted purchases thanks to robust earnings reports from major retailers, including casual clothing store operator Fast Retailing, brokers said.

The market accelerated its upswing in the afternoon, backed by hefty buying mainly from foreign investors who took heart from the Nikkei’s rise above the 21,000 line in the morning, brokers said.

Stocks “attracted purchases on expectations for robust corporate earnings,” said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

Fujii also cited “a recovery in the global economy” as a factor behind the market’s advance.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,206 to 723 in the TSE’s First Section, while 101 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1,847 million shares from Thursday’s 1,536 million shares.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 210 points to 21,160.Speech

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