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Nikkei ends at 8-month high on upbeat US stocks, Abe's win

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Nikkei index closed at an eight-month high on Friday as investors were heartened by upbeat U.S. stocks and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's win in his ruling party's leadership election.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 195.00 points, or 0.82 percent, from Thursday at 23,869.93. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 16.42 points, or 0.92 percent, higher at 1,804.02.

Gainers were led by oil and coal product, marine transportation, mining, and insurance issues.

Amid a global risk-on mood, the benchmark Nikkei index extended gains in the afternoon, backed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average's all-time high closing on Thursday.

"Japanese stocks tracked gains in U.S. shares as earlier strong concerns over a U.S.-China trade rift have been slightly receding," said Mitsuo Shimizu, an equity strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

The Tokyo market was also supported by Abe's victory in the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election on Thursday, which fueled expectations that more economic measures may be rolled out in the months ahead.

"Abe's win means there will be political stability for around three years," Shimizu said.

On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,591 to 456, while 63 ended the day unchanged.

Firms operating in China continued to draw buying following media reports that the world's second-largest economy is considering lowering tariffs on imports from its many trading partners.

Hitachi Construction Machinery gained 140 yen, or 3.8 percent, to 3,850 yen, TDK advanced 460 yen, or 3.8 percent, to 12,720 yen, and Okuma was up 230 yen, or 3.6 percent, at 6,640 yen.

Trading volume on the main section rose to 2,078.35 million shares from Thursday's 1,673.42 million shares.

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