Tokyo stocks rebounded on Friday, with the Nikkei up 1.97%. Investor sentiment was boosted by renewed hopes the Federal Reserve will slow interest rate hikes following an increase in weekly jobless claims. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 623.90 points at 32,265.17 and the broader Topix index finished 32.82 points higher at 2,224.32. The US dollar rose slightly to the lower 139 yen level as domestic importers bought the currency for settlement purposes. Gainers were led by wholesale trade, electric power and gas, and pharmaceutical issues. Japanese stocks rose from the outset as investors felt reassured by Wall Street’s strong performance overnight. Market participants are now focusing on the Fed’s two-day policy meeting slated to start on Tuesday for further trading cues, brokers say. The upward momentum was partly due to technology issues, which tracked an overnight gain with US peers after the tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed over 1% higher. Pharmaceutical issues were also among the bright spots.
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