Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

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JAPANESE STOCKS rose as bullish sentiment generated by news of a three-way bank alliance spilled into other financial sectors, overriding downward pressure from the strong yen.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 135.44 points or 0.75 per cent to close at 18,233.55. "The upbeat sentiment has floated over from the banking sector into other financial sectors, such as insurance," said one analyst. The market barometer was up 31.7 per cent from the start of the year.