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Tokyo stocks rise 0.43% by break

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks ended the morning session 0.43 percent higher Tuesday, buoyed by a weaker yen and following another record finish on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 61.95 points to 14,568.20 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.46 percent, or 5.49 points, at 1,207.48.

The market gains, following a long weekend in Japan, came after US stocks rose to all-time highs as in-line Chinese economic growth data offset disappointing US retail sales figures.

Investors were also looking to Japanese elections Sunday to elect half of the 242 seats in the upper house of the legislature.

"The question on everyone's mind is whether the market will take off or sell off after the Sunday elections," said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith.

Media surveys have tipped Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to win big, giving him control of both chambers and the ability to push a policy blitz consisting of huge government spending and monetary easing measures aimed at stoking the nation's stagnant economy.

"A resounding LDP victory is already largely priced into the market, but the real issue is if Prime Minister Abe continues to immediately push his advantage or elects to rest on his beach towel for the summer recess," Smith told Dow Jones Newswires.

In Tuesday trading, exporters were supported by a weaker yen with Canon up 2.67 percent to 3,460 yen and Toyota rising 0.62 percent to 6,450 yen.

SoftBank, which closed a $21.6 billion deal to gain a controlling stake in number three US mobile carrier Sprint last week, climbed 1.91 percent to 5,870 yen.

A weak yen is good for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad while swelling their repatriated income.

The unit was trading at 99.77 to the dollar and 130.35 yen to the euro in Tokyo midday trade on Tuesday, a shade stronger than in New York Monday afternoon but weaker than rates of around 99 yen and 129 yen seen in Tokyo on Friday. Tokyo markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.13 percent to 15,484.26 and the broad-based S&P 500 added 0.14 percent to 1,682.50.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130716/tokyo-stocks-rise-043-break-0