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TOKYO: Japanese shares rebounded on Wednesday, as investors scooped up beaten-down stocks after less hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell helped Wall Street regain ground.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.9% to 28,746.08 by 0202 GMT and the broader Topix gained 1.41% to 2,014.82, after three straight sessions of falls.

U.S. stocks bounced overnight, with the Nasdaq leading the advance, as investors digested Powell’s remarks that interest rates were likely to rise this year, as expected.

“The Japanese market rose because investors who had shorted shares ahead of Powell’s testimony bought them back,“ said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

“But this buying spree may end before the midday break as investors await the U.S. consumer price data.”

U.S. consumer inflation data is due later in the global day, with headline CPI seen coming in at a red-hot 7% on a year-on-year basis, boosting the case for an early increase in interest rates.

Nikkei heavyweights advanced, with chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rising 4%, tech-investor SoftBank Group gaining 5.11% and Uniqlo clothing shop owner Fast Retailing adding 2.02%.

Shares that were sold off recently due to their high price-earnings ratios regained as U.S. Treasury yields fell. Sensor maker Keyence jumped 4.99% after losing more than 11% over the past week, while motor maker Nidec rose 1.9% after losing 8% during the same period.

Sumco Corp rose the most on the Nikkei with a gain of 5.94%, followed by Inpex, which climbed 5.4%.

Dai-ichi Life Holding lost 2.73% and was the worst performer on the Nikkei, followed by Eisai, losing 2.5%. – Reuters

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