Nikkei jumps to 2-1/2 week high on rosy U.S. data
By Thomas Wilson TOKYO, Dec 24(Reuters) - Japanese stocks rallied on Wednesday after Wall Street hit a record closing-high on the back of data pointing to rapid momentum in the U.S. economy, which boosted risk appetite and lent weight to last week's positive assessment by the Federal Reserve. The Nikkei benchmark gained 1.2 percent in thin trade to 17,854.23, its highest close since Dec. 8 and its fifth straight day of gains. Japanese markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. Exporters performed strongly on the back of a weaker yen, which fell through the 120 mark against the dollar. Toyota Motor Corp gained 1.6 percent, while Panasonic added 1.5 percent. The broader Topix added 0.9 percent to 1,426.02, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also gained 0.9 percent to 12,955.65. (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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