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Japanese shares end higher as cyclicals jump, tech weakness caps gains

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on Thursday as investors scooped up beaten-down cyclical stocks, although gains were capped by technology shares that tracked Nasdaq lower.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended 1.14% higher at 28,729.88, ending a four-day losing streak, while the broader Topix jumped 1.4% to close at 1,955.55 after falling in three straight sessions.

“There were a lot of pessimistic news that prompted investors to sell cyclical shares (yesterday). They are buying back those today,” Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo brand clothing store, led the gains on Nikkei with its 1.39% gain.

Banking stocks jumped, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 2.48% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group climbing 2.6%. Mizuho Financial Group gained 2.01%.

Toyota Motor edged up 0.43% after the automaker revived a partnership with Isuzu Motor to boost their competitive edge in connected, commercial vehicles, with Toyota’s truck unit Hino Motors Ltd joining in the pact.

Isuzu fell 1.94%, while Hino slumped 5.19% following a surge on the news on Wednesday, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei index.

Chip-related shares fell, with Advantest losing 1.89% and Tokyo Electron sliding 1.49%. They tracked a weak show by the Nasdaq overnight.

Tech investor SoftBank Group, down 2.84%, was the second biggest loser on the Nikkei.

All the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher, led by the sea transport industry.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Fanuc, up 4.01%, followed by Recruit Holdings, rising 3.68%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were SoftBank Group, followed by Nintendo losing 1.31%.

There were 207 advancers on the Nikkei index against 17 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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