The Nikkei 225 closed up 1.5 per cent at 17,470.45. Sony rose 2.1 per cent to 12,150 yen, the biggest contribution to the gain. Japan's second- largest consumer electronics company relies on the US market for one-third of its operating profits.
STOCKS ROSE to their highest close in 20 months, bolstered by a combination of the US Consumer Price Index data on Wednesday and recent domestic growth figures. The US data showed a flat 0.1 per cent rise last month, easing fears that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by 0.2 points.