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Feb. 23, 2015, 3:26 a.m. EST

Japan stocks advance for fourth day to 15-year high

Other Asian markets post broad gains

By Laura He, MarketWatch


Reuters
Tokyo stocks gain further on Monday, with other Asian markets also closing higher.

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Japan stocks advanced to their best closing level in 15 years on Monday, extending a four-day winning streak, as markets tracked a rally in the U.S. equities at the end of last week.

The Nikkei Average (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)  rose 0.7% to 18,466.92, the highest settlement since April 2000. The broader Topix (TOKYO:JP:180460)  edged up 0.2%.

The yen (XTUP:USDJPY)  weakened versus the greenback, trading at ¥119.23 from ¥119.07 late Friday in New York.

The U.S. markets climbed on Friday after the eurozone finance ministers agreed to extend Greece’s bailout by four months .

In Japan, top outperformers included electronics component supplier TDK Corporation (TKS:JP:6762)  , jumping 2.4%, camera maker Olympus Corp. (TKS:JP:7733)  , gaining 2.3%, rival Nikon Corp. (TKS:JP:7731)  , adding 1.1%, and auto maker Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TKS:JP:7201)  , up 1.5%.

However, auto-parts provider Takata Corporation  fell 2.6%, after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would fine the company $14,000 per day for failing to fully cooperate with the agency’s probe into its defective air bags.

Other Asian markets also recorded broad gains. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   finished up 0.5%, and Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index (KOREA:KR:180721)  settled 0.4% higher.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks seesawed in their post-holiday return, with the Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI)   ending up less than 0.1%.

Mainland Chinese stocks markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year. They were due to reopen on Wednesday.

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