Tokyo stocks open higher on cheaper yen

Tokyo stocks open higher on cheaper yen

TOKYO,. Tokyo stocks opened higher today helped by a cheaper yen and expectations for progress in US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.63 per cent, or 127.29 points, to 20,460.46 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.50 per cent, or 7.65 points, at 1,547.05.

“Japanese stocks are seen rising at the start due to a cheaper yen against the dollar and after a sharp drop late last week,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market strategist at Monex, said in a note.

The rally came after Tokyo shares closed down more than 2 per cent on Friday.

The Japanese market was closed yesterday for a public holiday.

The higher open came after global stocks mostly rose yesterday as US and Chinese officials in Beijing started preparatory trade meetings that may culminate in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The dollar changed hands at ¥110.48 in early Asian trade, up from ¥110.37 in New York yesterday and ¥109.68 in Tokyo Friday.

“On Sino-US trade, the one positive development… was that Presidents Trump and Xi could meet in Trump’s Florida resort of Mar a Lago in mid-March,” Ray Attrill, strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

In Tokyo, exporters were generally higher, with Toyota gaining 0.96 per cent to ¥6,511, Nissan advancing 1.43 per cent to ¥927.4, Honda adding 1.00 per cent at ¥2,956 and Panasonic up 1.09 per cent at ¥1,013.

Toshiba dropped 6.03 per cent to ¥3,190 after it said it would revise down its full-year operating profit forecast in its third-quarter earnings report due on Wednesday.

SoftBank Group was down 0.14 per cent at ¥10,000 after an announcement that its SoftBank Vision Fund will invest nearly a billion dollars in Silicon Valley startup Nuro, which is working on self-driving delivery vehicles.

On Wall Street, US stocks finished mixed with the Dow ending down 0.2 per cent at 25,053.11 while the broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.1 per cent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also added 0.1 per cent. — AFP