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Nikkei briefly tops 12,000 line last seen in ’08

Kyodo

The Nikkei ended at a fresh 53-month high Thursday, supported by the Dow Jones industrial average’s advance to a new all-time high overnight, but it trimmed gains after rising above the 12,000 mark.

The 225-issue Nikkei posted a six-session winning streak, ending up 35.81 points, or 0.30 percent, from Wednesday to 11,968.08. The broader Topix index of all first section issues on the Tokyo bourse rose 1.13 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,004.35.

The Nikkei opened above 12,000 and gained nearly 140 points to 12,069.60 at one point, the highest intraday level since Sept. 24, 2008, shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. But it later pared its gains as investors adopted a wait-and-see mood ahead of the release of closely watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due out Friday and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day, brokers said.

“Tokyo stocks were boosted in line with the global trend of higher share prices on the back of ample funds flowing into markets due to easy monetary policies in major economies,” Masatoshi Sato, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities Co., said.