January 8, 2014 4:07 pm JST

Nikkei ends above 16,000 as Topix beats last year's high

TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks closed sharply higher Wednesday, with the Nikkei Stock Average rising 307.08 points, or 1.94%, to end the day at 16,121.45, topping the 16,000 line for the first time since Dec. 30, 2013.

     It is also the first time this year for the benchmark index to close in positive territory. The overnight rise in U.S. and European stocks fueled buying of a broad range of issues on the Tokyo market from the outset of trading.

     The yen's slight decline helped exporters climb further in the afternoon, and shares in brokerages, banks and retailers also gained momentum.

     The Topix index of all shares listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 22.98 points, or 1.79%, to end the day at 1,306.23, topping last year's high for the first time in three trading days and hitting its highest since July 24, 2008.

     Trading value on the first section of the TSE came to 2.48 trillion yen ($23.4 billion) on a preliminary basis, topping 2 trillion yen -- the line used to judge whether trading is active or sluggish -- for the 11th straight trading day.