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Roundup: Tokyo stocks close higher as Wall Street's rise lifts tech issues

TOKYO, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Wednesday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index hitting a near-two week high after Wall Street's overnight rally gave technology issues here a boost.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 251.45 points, or 0.94 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 26,911.20.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, added 17.98 points, or 0.96 percent, to finish at 1,884.69.

Brokers here said that investor sentiment was bolstered by large-cap issues on Wall Street advancing overnight following solid retail sales for April, despite lingering concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening policy.

"U.S. retail sales were firm despite tightening monetary policy, which lifted the stock market. Japanese markets followed that but this seems to be a short-term rebound," Ikuo Mitsui, a fund manager at Aizawa Securities was quoted as saying.

"There will be concerns whether the Federal Reserve can make a soft landing as they maintain their hawkish stance. The market will remain volatile for a while," Mitsui said.

By the close of play, electric appliance, precision instrument and air transportation issues comprised those that advanced the most, with issues that rose outpacing those that fell by 1,137 to 646 with 54 ending the day unchanged.

Among technology shares following their U.S. peers higher, Tokyo Electron was a notable winner, climbing 2.9 percent, while Renesas Electronics jumped 3.7 percent after announcing it would invest 90 billion yen (700 million U.S. dollars) to reopen a closed facility to produce more power semiconductors.

Nikkei heavyweight and global tech startup investor SoftBank Group edged up 0.3 percent by the close, while Sony Group ended the day 2.9 percent higher.

Travel and tourism issues gained after the Japanese government said Tuesday it will allow the entry of a limited number of COVID-19 vaccinated tourists from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore, to take part in specially monitored package tours, prior to the country fully opening its borders.

As a result, Japan Airlines rose 2.2 percent, while Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land added 0.8 percent.

On the Prime Market on Wednesday, 1,267.16 million shares changed hands, dropping from Tuesday's volume of 1,320.98 million shares.

The turnover on Wednesday came to 2,969.81 billion yen (22.97 billion U.S. dollars).