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Nikkei closes at 30-year high as Biden inauguration sparks optimism

TOKYO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Japanese shares hit their highest close in 30 years, taking cues from solid overnight performances on Wall Street, on investor optimism over upbeat corporate earnings and that new U.S. administration’s massive stimulus package will bolster growth.

Nikkei share average gained 0.82% to 28,756.86, the highest close since August 1990, while the broader Topix inched up 0.6% to 1,860.64.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress have indicated they are willing to work with President Joe Biden on his administration’s top priority, a $1.9 trillion U.S. fiscal stimulus plan, but some are opposed to the plan’s price tag.

Asian stocks touched all-time highs as investors hoped for more economic stimulus from the Biden administration to offset damage wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The market rose on expectations for more stimulus packages in the United States,” said Yoshihiro Takeshige, general manager at investment management department of Asahi Life Asset Management.

“Another positive factor is that Japanese manufacturers could revise up their earnings forecast, particularly those benefiting from a recovery in Chinese economy.”

Many companies are lined up for reporting their quarterly numbers, starting from Monday. Nidec Corp, which has risen more than 10% this month, will be one of the first companies to announce the results.

Dentsu Group jumped 5.26%, becoming the largest gainer in the index, after a report that the advertising giant is considering the sale of its Tokyo headquarters, which local media said could fetch around 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion)

Panasonic jumped 4.97% after the company said it has developed storage boxes for the coronavirus vaccine.

SoftBank Group rose 2.9% to a record high after Alibaba Group’s American Depositary Receipts rose following a video reappearance of its founder Jack Ma.

In the Nikkei index, 132 companies advanced, while 84 stocks fell.

The volume of shares traded on the Topix was 1.14 billion, compared to the average of 1.12 billion in the past 30 days.

$1 = 103.6100 yen Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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