1st LD Writethru: Tokyo stocks close higher on Wall Street's rise, Brexit hopes

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TOKYO, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Tuesday as investor sentiment was bolstered by solid U.S. retail data lifting U.S. shares overnight, while hopes that Britain's exit from the European Union might be a smooth one added support.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 378.60 points, or 1.79 percent, from Monday to close the day at 21,503.69.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 24.04 points, or 1.52 percent, to finish at 1,605.48.

Trading got off to a bright start, local brokers said, following U.S. shares advancing overnight after better-than-expected U.S. retail sales data for January buoyed the market mood and helped ease ongoing concerns over the outlook of the global economy.

They added that in twine with Wall Street's positive lead, investor sentiment towards Tokyo issues improved on hopes that Britain may be able to depart smoothly from the European Union.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., suggested that following a meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, expectations were growing for a smoother Brexit.

"Investors' risk appetite increased as they expected May's updated Brexit plan to be approved by parliament," noted Ichikawa.

Underpinning an upbeat market mood, investment strategists here said, were solid performances on other major Asian bourses, most notably those in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

By the close of play, all industry categories on the main section advanced into positive territory, with securities house, electric appliance and real estate-linked issues comprising those that gained the most.

Issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,893 to 185 on the First Section, while 56 ended the day unchanged, and on the main section on Tuesday, 1,231.52 million shares changed hands, rising from Monday's volume of 1,045.96 million shares.

The turnover on the second trading day of the week came to 2,326.6 billion yen (20.89 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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