Nikkei ends slightly stronger, underpinned by Wall Street's gains
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged up on Wednesday but retreated from three-week highs earlier in the session as the yen firmed marginally against the dollar, hampering exporters' prospects.
The Nikkei share average ended 0.2 percent higher at 16,906.54 after climbing as high as 17,099.36 earlier in the day, encouraged by Wall Street's performance overnight and the dollar trading above 109 yen, before the Japanese currency again gained strength.
"Asian markets felt the negative effects of the drop in oil following news of Kuwaiti oil workers ending their strike," said Andrew Meredith, co-managing director at Tokyo's Tyton Capital Advisors. "The Nikkei, however, holds on to a modest gain following the S&P 500's showing yesterday, despite a nominal appreciation in the yen."
Shares of Mitsubishi Motor Corp bucked the day's resilience, plunging more than 15 percent after the company announced it would be holding a news press conference in the evening about misconduct in its fuel economy tests.
The broader Topix edged up 0.2 percent to 1,365.78 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent to 12,353.47. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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