Nikkei closes at highest level in 7-1/2 years as weak yen lifts exporters

TOKYO, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average ended at its highest level in more than 7-1/2 years on Thursday as the weak yen boosted exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp and Sony Corp, while investors awaited the outcome of Greek debt negotiations.

The Nikkei benchmark gained 1.9 percent to 17,979.72, the highest closing level since July 2007.

Fanuc Corp soared 6.2 percent and hit a record high after the Nikkei business daily reported that Third Point bought a stake in the industrial robot maker.

It contributed a hefty 51.36 points to the Nikkei benchmark, or more than 15 percent of the Nikkei’s point gains.

The broader Topix rose 1.5 percent to 1,449.39, with 2.77 billion shares changing hands, the biggest number since Dec. 12. Turnover was 3.160 trillion yen ($ 26.30 billion), the highest since the same date.

The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 1.5 percent to 13,136.59.

($ 1 = 120.1500 yen) (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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