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Nikkei climbs to new four-month high on U.S.-China trade hopes, ECB stimulus

A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing the various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a fresh four month-high on Friday, as hints of progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute and stimulus from the European Central Bank helped to counter lingering worries about a global economic slowdown.

The benchmark Nikkei average gained 0.9% to 21,947.53 by the midday break, marking its highest since May 7. For the week, the index has advanced 3.5%, on track to post its biggest gain in eight months.

The broader Topix rose 0.5% to 1,602.23, also its highest in four months.

On Wall Steet, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to close within striking distance of its all-time closing high overnight, with investors overall sticking to hopes of more progress in upcoming trade talks between the world’s largest economies.

China and the United States both announced concessions this week ahead of upcoming trade talks in early October. U.S. President Donald Trump later told reporters he may consider an interim trade deal with Beijing.

About two thirds of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 subsectors were in positive territory, with the interest rate-sensitive real estate sector becoming the biggest gainer, up 2.0%, ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week.

Panasonic added a marginal 0.1% after the Nikkei newspaper reported Toyota Motor started using batteries that Panasonic designed for Tesla in some of its plug-in hybrids sold in China. Toyota added 0.5%.

Elsewhere, Yahoo Japan jumped 4.6% after the internet company said it would take over online fashion retailer Zozo for 400 billion yen ($3.7 billion) on Thursday, seeking to compete better against the likes of Zozo retreated 1.2%, paring some of its huge gains of 13.4% made the previous day.

Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Jacqueline Wong