Tokyo shares 0.94% higher by break

Tokyo stocks climbed 0.94 percent on Thursday morning with exporters getting a boost from the weakening yen and a rally on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 99.17 points to 10,677.74 by the break, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.44 percent, or 12.68 points, to 891.73.

The upward swing has been largely hinging on expectations of major moves from Japan's new government, which has pledged a series of measures to stoke the world's third-largest economy.

New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday reiterated his call for Bank Of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa to introduce a two percent inflation target, ahead of the central bank's policy board meeting later this month.

Abe, who won December's general election, has vowed to beat the nation's chronic deflation, urging the BoJ to aggressively ease monetary policy.

"Expectations for the administration led by Prime Minister Abe persist," Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of the equity division at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"A weaker yen will likely boost Japanese corporate earnings," he added.

In morning Tokyo trade, the euro was stronger at 114.91 yen from 114.77 yen late in New York on Wednesday while the single currency weakened to $1.3047 from $1.3061.

The greenback also strengthened to 88.08 yen from 87.86 yen.

Also helping sentiment was fresh data from China which showed the world's second-largest economy recorded a 48.1 percent surge in its 2012 trade surplus to $231.1 billion, though total trade volume grew at a much slower pace.

In Tokyo stock trading, China-linked firms rose with construction machinery maker Komatsu up 2.21 percent to 2,307 yen while Hitachi Construction Machinery gained 2.16 percent to 1,887 yen.

Isuzu shares were 4.0 percent higher at 546 yen after the firm said it was in discussions with US giant General Motors on developing next-generation pickup trucks as a report said the two were in talks over a possible tie-up.

Utilities got a boost amid speculation of nuclear reactor restarts under Japan's new government with Fukushima operator TEPCO leading the pack, jumping 13.87 percent at 238 yen.

All Nippon Airways was off 0.54 percent at 181 yen after it cancelled a Boeing Dreamliner flight Wednesday because of a brake problem, the third glitch to hit the next-generation aircraft in as many days.

Rival Japan Airlines, which cancelled two Dreamliner flights this week over safety issues, was up 0.92 percent at 3,800 yen.

US stocks reversed two days of losses to close higher Wednesday despite caution ahead of fourth-quarter corporate earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.46 percent at 13,390.51.

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