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Foreigners cheer top players in niche markets

TOKYO -- Japanese companies boasting advanced technologies and strong market shares in niche fields are winning the hearts of overseas long-term investors, who helped send the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average to a year-to-date high Wednesday.

     Nitto Denko climbed 4% to a level not seen since May 2006. Among its investors is Swedish financial institution Swedbank, which had slowly increased its stake in the electrical equipment maker through the end of April.

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