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Market Scramble: Semiconductor sector shining despite yen's ascent

TOKYO -- Semiconductor shares are holding firm, buoyed by growing smartphone-related demand and other signs of the industry's bright prospects, even as a strong yen fuels concerns over the rest of Japan's exporters.

Auto and electronics shares fell across the board after the yen strengthened past the psychologically important 100 mark to the dollar at one point Thursday. The Nikkei Stock Average ended down 1.55% at 16,486.

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