Tokyo stocks open higher on Wall St gain, lower yen

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday with investor sentiment buoyed by gains on Wall Street and a lower yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.52 percent or 105.36 points to 20,548.11 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.56 percent or 8.54 points at 1,546.31.

“Risk appetite picked up on rises in US shares, correcting excessive pessimism at the year-end,” said Mutsumi Kagawa, chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities.

Support came from hopes that China would make concessions in its trade war with the United States, as well as a more dovish US central bank, he said.

The British parliament’s rejection of a no-confidence vote in Theresa May’s government also lifted sentiment, he added.

The safe-haven yen fell accordingly, improving sentiment further.

Strong bank earnings helped lift Wall Street stocks, though worries about the US government shutdown limited stock market gains after strong bank earnings.

The dollar was trading at 108.92 yen, slightly lower than 109.05 yen in New York after news on a volcanic eruption on a remote Japanese island.

But the greenback was still up from the mid-108 range seen when the Tokyo market closed for Wednesday.

Banks and exporters were broadly higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial up 1.74 percent at 575.8 yen and Nintendo up 1.97 percent at 32,570 yen.


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