The most actively traded stock, Nippon Steel, failed to hold on to a 3 per cent gain, ending up 1 per cent. Despite Thursday's unexpectedly strong GDP data, the resulting buying petered out ahead of the weekend, traders said.
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GROWING OPTIMISM over an improvement in Japan's economy supported stocks in the heaviest turnover in a decade, with 1.66 billion shares traded as the settlement of June future and options boosted volumes. The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 0.56 per cent at 7,198.55.