Japanese shares up first time in four days on US rally

Japanese shares Image copyright AFP
Image caption Japanese shares headed higher, taking the lead from Wall Street on Thursday

Japan's Nikkei index closed higher for the first time in four days, spurred by a rally on Wall Street.

US shares snapped a two-day losing streak overnight, rebounding from Tuesday's steep losses as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones rose nearly 2%.

An upward revision in US productivity data ahead of the jobs report on Friday boosted sentiment among investors rattled by slowing growth in China.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.5% to 18,182.39 - leading Asian gains.

Chinese markets are closed on Thursday and Friday for a holiday to commemorate the end of World War Two.

Rest of Asia lower

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 1.3% at 5,035.70. Shares in department store operator Myer Holdings dived 24% after it announced plans to raise 221m Australian dollars ($154m; £101m) through a rights issue.

In South Korea, shares closed flat after revised second quarter growth figures came out in line with earlier estimates released in July.

The economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% from April to June from the previous three-month period, while it expanded 2.2% from a year earlier.

The benchmark Kospi index finished at 1,915.53.

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