Japanese shares rise on bargain-hunting, hopes for Russia-Ukraine talks

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Tuesday, buoyed by bargain hunting for beaten-down stocks, while optimism about a positive outcome from the planned talks between Russia and Ukraine also boosted sentiment.

By 0205 GMT, the Nikkei share average (.N225) rose 1.6% to 26,953.42, after crossing the 27,000 level for the first time since Feb. 18. The broader Topix (.TOPX) advanced 1.07% to 1,907.13.

"Investors have been trying to see a sign for better developments of the Russia's invasion into Ukraine, including a ceasefire. Also, they believed in a positive effect of powerful Western sanctions against Russia," Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

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"They also bought back cheap stocks so that also lifted the market today."

Mitsui OSK Lines (9104.T) surged 6.75% after the shipping firm announced a share split.

Online broker Monex Group (8698.T) surged 17.85% after a regulatory filing showed Hong Kong-based activist fund Oasis Management has bought a 5.08% stake in the firm.

Toyota Motor (7203.T) shares inched up 0.19%, after the auto maker announced it suspended domestic factory operations due to a suspected cyber attack at one of its suppliers. read more

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings (6098.T), up 3.05%, was the best performer among the 30 core Topix names, followed by technology start-up SoftBank Group (9984.T), which rose 2.67%.

Mitsui & Co Ltd (8031.T) fell 0.72% and was the worst performer among the 30 core Topix names, followed by drugmaker Astellas Pharma (4503.T), losing 0.65%.

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Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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