Tokyo stocks gain 0.92% by break

Tokyo stocks rose 0.92 percent Tuesday morning as the yen declined on the back of weaker-than-expected Japanese growth figures, while investors awaited comments from the Bank of Japan's chief after a policy meeting.

The Nikkei-225 index added 132.93 points to 14,526.04 by the break. The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.69 percent, 8.20 points, to 1,200.25.

While the world's number three economy grew 1.6 percent over 2013 -- its best performance in three years -- it slowed to 0.3 percent in the October-December quarter, presenting a major challenge for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to stoke growth after almost two decades of deflation.

"After Monday's poor (October-December) GDP figures, some hedged players are capitalising on the thin volume to bid up the market," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

"Shares might still be a little oversold after recent falls, but with virtually no other trading cues out there and the dollar looking lacklustre, speculation has room to play a larger role in moving the market," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Fujito added that "the probability that the BoJ will say anything of real market-moving merit is actually pretty slim".

The central bank was due to conclude a two-day policy meeting later Tuesday, with BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda holding a press conference at 0630 GMT. Analysts widely expected the bank to hold fire on new measures until later in the year, as policymakers wait to see the impact of an April sales tax rise.

Wall Street was closed for a holiday on Monday and European markets ended mixed, offering little guidance.

In midday Tokyo forex trade, the dollar was at 101.95 yen early Tuesday, up from 101.81 yen in London late Monday and the mid-101 yen range in Tokyo earlier Monday.

The euro bought $1.3703 against $1.3695 while it also strengthened to 139.69 yen from 139.42 yen.

A weaker yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates repatriated profits.

In share trading, Sony rose 1.28 percent at 1,740 yen by the break, while Toyota added 0.34 percent to 5,813 yen.

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