TOKYO (AP) - Japan's key stock index closed at a 10-week high Thursday after a government survey showing improvement in corporate sentiment spurred buying of real estate, construction and other issues linked to the domestic economy.
The U.S. dollar was higher against the Japanese yen and the euro.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues rose 29.47 points, or 0.26 percent to close at 11,576.75 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, the highest since April 14 when it finished at 11,563.17.
The index gained 58.54 points, or 0.51 percent, Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar was trading at 108.64 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) Thursday, up 0.15 yen from late Wednesday, but below the 108.83 yen it bought in New York later that day.
On the stock markets, the Nikkei dipped on selling in technology and chemical issues in early trading. But stocks finished higher as institutional investors bought real estate issues such as Mitsubishi Estate Co. and construction issues such as Sekisui House Ltd. on the back of a business mood survey showing a slight improvement in sentiment.
The Finance Ministry survey said large Japanese companies are more optimistic about the outlook for the economy in the April-June quarter than they were during the previous three months.
The TOPIX index, which includes all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section, rose 0.77 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,174.02 points.
The TOPIX gained 4.10 points or, 0.35 percent, Wednesday.
On Wednesday in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 11.74, or 0.11 percent, to 10,587.93 and the Nasdaq composite index rose by 0.96, or 0.05 percent, to 2,092.03.
In other currencies in Tokyo, the euro fell to US$1.2110 from US$1.2185 late Wednesday and to 131.60 yen from 132.13 yen.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.2250 percent from Wednesday's finish of 1.2650 percent. Its price rose 0.35 to 100.66 points. - AP
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