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Tokyo stocks up 0.32% by break

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks cast off early losses to rise 0.32 percent on Tuesday morning as a weaker yen boosted exporter shares, despite jitters over the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index, which lost 1.27 percent on Monday, added 46.29 points to 14,698.52 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.40 percent, or 4.82 points, at 1,201.58.

Shares opened lower, extending Monday's losses, following a global sell-off after Russia's parliament agreed to let President Vladimir Putin send troops into Crimea, a mainly Russian-speaking peninsula in the southeast of the ex-Soviet state.

But the index rebounded in late morning trade as the yen weakened against the dollar in response to data showing US manufacturing picked up in February, after slowing in January because of severe winter weather.

Other figures showed home building pushed US construction spending higher, while consumer spending, the main driver of the US economy, climbed 0.4 percent in January from December.

The data helped alleviate some concern about the state of the world's biggest economy as the Federal Reserve eases up on its stimulus programme.

In forex trade the dollar fetched 101.68 yen, up from 101.44 yen on Monday in New York.

David Baran, co-CEO of Symphony Financial Partners, a Tokyo-based hedge fund, told Dow Jones Newswires: "The Russian-Ukraine standoff may drag on, but a military confrontation with the West is likely well out of the question.

"The economic stakes of the crisis are not that great for the rest of the world, either."

However, London-based Capital Economics warned: "The crisis in Ukraine has the potential to have a further significant and prolonged impact on global financial markets, even though our current judgment is that the fallout is likely to be short-lived."

In Tokyo, Canon shares rose 1.32 percent to 3,141 yen, Toyota was up 0.45 percent at 5,799 yen and brewer Asahi rose 1.35 percent to 2,849 yen.

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