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Tokyo stocks close 0.3% higher, Nikkei 225 jumps 48.24pts

Tokyo stocks close 0.3% higher, Nikkei 225 jumps 48.24pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks have risen 0.26 per cent, with profit taking more than offset by fresh buying on expectations of higher prices ahead.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday climbed 48.24 points to close at 18,751.84, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.44 per cent, or 6.71 points, at 1,523.72.

The market opened lower following a negative lead from Wall Street but buying picked up on the back of a recovery trend in the domestic economy and corporate earnings.

The speed of the recent rise in prices was moderated early on, but players are now looking for fresh buying pegs, Masaaki Yamaguchi, equity market strategist in Tokyo at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.

Eyes will now turn to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday and Friday’s official US jobs report for February.

ECB president Mario Draghi is expected to unveil details of the bank’s huge bond-purchase program, which launches this month in a bid to ward off deflation in the eurozone and kick-start growth.

The ECB’s stance is in stark contrast to the Federal Reserve’s plan to exit crisis support, having ended its asset-purchasing plan in October, while it is now planning to raise interest rates this year.