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Japanese stock market lowers hurdle for buyers

Tokyo exchange adopts 100 shares as standard unit for trading

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Stock Exchange takes a long-awaited step Monday in line with its global peers by standardizing the minimum number of shares investors can trade at 100, a move that coincides with renewed international interest in Japanese equities.

The change, which comes as the Nikkei Stock Average cruises near a 27-year high, could also embolden Japanese retail investors by lowering the threshold for buying blue chips like papermaker Oji Holdings and Sumitomo Realty & Development that still had 1,000-share lot sizes.

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