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Tokyo stocks close at highest level since 2010

Tokyo stocks jumped 2.28 percent on Wednesday to close at their highest level in nearly three years thanks to a weaker yen and receding concerns over Europe's debt crisis.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 247.23 points at 11,113.95, its highest finish since April 2010, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.51 percent, or 13.91 points, to 934.67.

"Europe's problems have eased quite a bit," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at investment at Okasan Securities.

He pointed to data Tuesday showing net lending by Europe's central banks to credit institutions had fallen, the latest sign of easing tensions in the financial system.

The data showed the size of the balance sheet of the Eurosystem, consisting of the European Central Bank and the 17 eurozone national central banks, has fallen to its lowest in almost a year.

"The global economy is in a trend of improving. A shift to stocks from bonds is likely to happen," Ishiguro said.

The Tokyo market's rise also came after Japan's new government on Tuesday approved a $1.02 trillion annual budget as part of its renewed assault on the deflation that has plagued the economy for years.

The Nikkei has been soaring in recent months as Tokyo's drive for aggressive monetary easing pushed down the value of the yen, lifting exporters.

Hopes that the government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will succeed in boosting the limp economy was helping drive the Nikkei's ascent, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity at SMBC Nikko Securities.

"Both domestic and external demand show signs of firming amid continuing expectations for 'Abenomics' and a recovery trend in the US economy," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

On Wall Street Tuesday, the Dow provided a solid lead as it climbed to within just 1.5 percent of its all-time closing high seen in October 2007.

In Tokyo, companies reporting quarterly earnings included Canon, which jumped 2.88 percent to 3,385 yen, while mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo was up 0.97 percent to 134,900 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group climbed 1.15 percent to 3,490 yen.

Videogame giant Nintendo slipped 2.40 percent to 9,350 yen ahead of the release of earnings later in the day.

In Tokyo forex trade, the dollar strengthened to 90.93 yen, from 90.72 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The euro fetched 122.56 yen and $1.3485 against 122.42 yen and $1.3493.