Tokyo stocks close up

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JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed 0.94 percent higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains on Wall Street and a weaker yen as investors keep an eye on simmering tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index climbed 133.60 points to finish at 14,411.27, snapping a four-day losing streak.

The Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.95 percent, or 11.01 points, to 1,165.94.

Japanese investors took a strong lead from Wall Street where the Dow jumped 1.13 percent to 16,247.22, brushing off geopolitical concerns after a controversial vote Sunday by Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

“Nobody really believes that geopolitical tensions over Ukraine will reach a 'shooting-war' stage, since US stocks remain pretty resilient,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree recognising Crimea as an independent state following the vote, which has fanned the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

The United States and Europe announced sanctions on Monday, and Japan followed suit on Tuesday.

In forex trade, the yen sagged with the dollar fetching 101.82 yen, up from 101.68 yen in New York Monday.

Miura said attention had shifted to the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, which concludes Wednesday.

The meeting is the first to be chaired by the bank's new chief Janet Yellen, who is expected to further cut its stimulus programme but investors will be closely watching her post-meeting news conference for clues about future policy.

In Tokyo share trading, mobile carrier SoftBank added 3.23

percent to 8,372 yen after surging nearly five percent on Monday.

The firm benefited from the weekend news that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group plans to start the process for an initial public offering in the United States.

SoftBank owns about 37 percent of Alibaba and stands to reap huge gains on the share sale.

Mitsubishi Electric soared 3.05 percent to 1,147 yen after raising its dividend.

Nikon lost 0.63 percent to finish at 1,719 yen, extending its day-earlier losses after China's government-controlled television broadcaster accused the Japanese camera maker of poor products and service. - Sapa-AFP



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