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Tokyo stocks rise for third straight session on weak yen

Tokyo stocks gained for a third consecutive session Tuesday on a cheaper yen and advances on Wall Street, ahead of the planned signing of a China-US trade pact.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.73 percent, or 174.60 points, to close at 24,025.17, while the broader Topix index was up 0.31 percent, or 5.37 points, at 1,740.53.

"The weak yen is a positive factor for sure," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"Market sentiment will remain strong if the dollar stays at the 110 yen level," Horiuchi told AFP.

The yen has fallen as safe-haven buying waned with the US decision to no longer designate China a currency manipulator, a further sign of easing tensions between the two countries.

The dollar rose to 110.09 yen in Asian afternoon trade from 109.92 yen in New York on Monday and the 108-yen range seen a week ago.

"Expectations of improved US-China relations are providing a tailwind," said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

On Wall Street on Monday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq surged to fresh records amid enthusiasm at the impending signing of the US-China trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also advanced 0.3 percent two days before President Donald Trump is due to sign a "phase one" agreement with Beijing.

Risk aversion also receded after Washington formally retracted its accusation that China manipulates its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage, Sengoku said.

In individual stocks trade, Nissan dropped 2.96 percent to 618 yen after the company denied reports it has mulled plans for a possible break from its alliance with Renault, which has a 43 percent stake in the scandal-hit Japanese automaker.

"After previous much sharper drops in Nissan, today's fall looks limited," Sengoku told AFP.

"The stock price wouldn't be at this level if investors were seriously concerned about the possibility," he said.

Toyota gained 1.01 percent to 7,739 yen and IT investor SoftBank Group surged 3.50 percent to 5,049 yen.