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Tokyo stocks close up 0.99%

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks rose 0.99 percent Tuesday, lifted by a weaker yen as the Bank of Japan kicked off a two-day policy meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index closed up 154.28 points at 15,795.96, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.16 percent, or 2.09 points, to 1,295.95.

The US earnings season has so far painted a mixed picture as Japanese firms prepare to start reporting their quarterly financial results over the next few weeks.

"Earnings from major US corporates are being eyed for a slowdown in growth, as a great deal (of) optimism is already baked into prices," SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

US markets were closed Monday for a public holiday.

Japanese traders took advantage of the weaker yen as the Bank of Japan kicked off a two-day policy meeting, which will be watched for any changes or announcements regarding its stimulus programme.

The dollar bought 104.50 yen, compared with 104.10 yen in London late Monday.

A weaker yen tends to lift Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive overseas and inflates repatriated profits.

"A well supported dollar should continue to translate into a well supported stock market," Monex market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama told Dow Jones Newswires.

Shares in Nintendo, which ended Monday down 6.14 percent after it last week warned it will see a net loss this financial year, fell another 2.40 percent to 13,415 yen.

The stock plunged nearly 19 percent at one point Monday in response to the announcement that it expects to lose 25 billion yen ($240 million) in the year to March owing to sales of its Wii U console coming in well below forecasts.

Among other major shares, mobile carrier SoftBank added 0.41 percent to 8,874 yen while Sony edged up 0.23 percent to 1,771 yen. Panasonic fell 2.13 percent to 1,288 yen and Japan's biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group eased 0.74 percent to 671 yen.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140121/tokyo-stocks-close-099-1