Tokyo stocks 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 rose 0.56 percent Friday morning, tracking gains on Wall Street and as the yen weakened ahead of a US February jobs report.

The Nikkei-225 index, which jumped 1.59 percent to a five-week high on Thursday, added 85.30 points to 15,220.05 by the break. The Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.54 percent, or 6.63

points, to 1,234.99.

As fears over the Ukraine crisis subside, investor sentiment was picking up along with appetite for riskier assets, said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

“There is a shift back to risk-on trade and Japan stocks still lag their peers,” he added.

US jobless benefits claims fell last week to their lowest level in three months, prompting upbeat expectations for non-farm payrolls data due later Friday.

Some traders were also betting that the Bank of Japan will announce more monetary easing measures when policymakers meet next week.

Real estate shares - a prime beneficiary of BoJ easing - rose with Mitsui Fudosan gaining 1.45 percent to 3,338 yen and Mitsubishi Estate up 1.12 percent at 2,616 yen.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone edged up 0.52 percent to 5,924

yen after it bought back about $1.5 billion of its own shares from the government.

In currency markets, the dollar fetched 102.95 yen in midday trade, down slightly from 103.08 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.17 percent to a record high while the Dow was up 0.38 percent.

(Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article) - Sapa-AFP

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