Prices were bolstered by bargain hunting after the Nikkei lost more than 1,000 points over the last five trading sessions. Traders doubted the rally would last. "The gains are not part of a fundamental change in the market. They are merely a recovery in prices during a market correction," said one.
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STOCKS CLOSED higher for the first time in six sessions as international blue chips and hi-tech shares recovered from recent losses. The Nikkei- 225 index rose 117.19 points to close at 17,579.91, following Tuesday's 0.16 per cent drop.