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Tokyo stocks gain with improved sentiment

Tokyo stocks rose moderately Tuesday with a tailwind from gains on Wall Street as investor sentiment improved, partly thanks to optimism over US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which jumped 2.44 percent on Monday, added 0.82 percent or 165.07 points to close at 20,204.04 while the broader Topix index was up 0.39 percent or 5.90 points at 1,518.43.

US shares pushed higher for a second session in a row Monday amid continued relief after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday signalled a more cautious approach to further interest rate increases.

"As the pace of (the Fed's) rate hikes is being reviewed, investor sentiment is significantly improving," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Some analysts also attributed the gains to optimism at the resumption of trade talks between mid-level US and Chinese officials.

"Players were definitely encouraged by the expectations that the US and China will make progress on their trade dispute," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"But it will take more time to see the Tokyo market achieve a stable recovery," Horiuchi told AFP.

SoftBank Group jumped 5.68 percent to 7,772 yen after news reports said it is scaling back plans for fresh investment in shared-office provider WeWork.

Nissan was up 0.21 percent at 895 yen as former boss Carlos Ghosn appeared in public for the first time since his arrest in November and said he had been "wrongly accused."

China-linked shares were also higher, with industrial robot maker Fanuc gaining 3.36 percent to 17,190 yen and construction machinery giant Komatsu trading up 1.10 percent at 2,472.5 yen.

The dollar fetched 108.81 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.74 yen in New York.