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TOKYO, March 3 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose to 3-1/2 week highs on Thursday as risk appetite improved following the release of upbeat data on U.S. jobs and a rally in oil and other commodities, which burnished sentiment globally.
The Nikkei share average climbed 1.3 percent to 16,960.16 for its highest close since February 8.
The Topix subindex for marine transportation soared 6.3 percent as Japan's shipping companies' shares climbed higher on the strength of improved global demand and rising prices on the Baltic Dry Index.
Japan's banking sector added 6.2 percent after taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc soared 8.6 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc jumped 7.9 percent.
The broader Topix rose 1.4 percent to end the day at 1,369.05 with all but seven of its 33 subindexes in positive territory.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.3 percent to 12,415.74. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)