Nikkei 225 closes at fresh 30-year high

Tokyo's benchmark stock index continued its rise on Thursday, buoyed by better-than-expected figures for machinery orders across Japan. The gains propelled the Nikkei Average to a fresh 30-year high.

The index closed out the day at 28,698, up 0.85 percent from Wednesday. That's the highest level since August 1990. Machinery- and semiconductor-related shares led the rally.

The Nikkei briefly rose more than 500 points, but lost some of those gains as investors took profits.

The index has now extended its winning streak to 5 days, adding 6 percent in that time.

The upward momentum has been helped by expectations for extra stimulus measures in the US. The new administration of President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office next week.