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Tokyo stocks up 0.66% by break

Tokyo stocks rose 0.66 percent Monday morning, after a fresh record high on Wall Street and as official data showed that Japan emerged from recession in the last quarter of 2014.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 118.48 points to 18,031.84 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.80 percent, or 11.57 points, to 1,460.95.

Shortly before markets opened, government figures showed the world's number three economy emerged from recession with growth of 0.6 percent in the October-December quarter. Forecasts had been for 0.9 percent growth.

"Even though it missed estimates, the figures are positive which means at least the direction of the recovery is right," Ayako Sera, a markets strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Bloomberg News.

Wall Street provided a strong lead with the S&P 500 ending at a new record high of 2,096.99, up 0.41 percent.

The Dow added 0.26 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.75 percent.

Sentiment got a boost as Greece's leadership said it was upbeat that it could hammer out a new debt deal with its European creditors.

Global markets are hoping a deal can be reached before the end of the month, when Greece's bailout is due to expire. Failure to agree an extension would see it default on its giant debts and likely mean it would crash out of the eurozone.

In Tokyo share trading, Japan's biggest lender Mitsubishi UFJ jumped 3.25 percent to 730.1 yen after the Asahi newspaper said it was considering giving pay hikes of between 1.0 and 2.0 percent.

Factory robotics giant Fanuc surged 3.76 percent to 22,465.0 yen as the leading Nikkei business daily said it would invest 130 billion yen in new facilities in Japan by the end of 2016.

Auto parts maker Takata tumbled 5.59 percent to 1,318.0 yen after its biggest customer Honda said it would not give the struggling company financial help.

Takata has been plunged into crisis after a defect in its airbag inflators -- which could cause fatal shrapnel to be fired at drivers -- was linked to at least five deaths, sparking the recall of more than 20 million vehicles.

In forex markets, the dollar weakened to 118.58 yen, from 118.74 yen in New York on Friday.

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