Tokyo stocks open higher on signs of strong US economy

A man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo. — Reuters pic
A man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Feb 4 — Tokyo stocks opened higher today, helped by a cheaper yen and optimism over the US economy following strong jobs data that also saw Wall Street shares rise.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.42 per cent, or 87.74 points, at 20,876.13 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 0.60 per cent, or 9.33 points, to 1,573.96.

Wall Street shares ended mostly higher after stronger-than-expected US jobs data.

The dollar fetched ¥109.52 (RM4.09) in early Asian trade, little changed from ¥109.51 in New York but higher than ¥108.86 in Tokyo on Friday.

The US Federal Reserve’s “postponing of its rate hikes and expectations for progress in US-China trade talks will keep supporting Japanese shares”, said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Investors are also watching earnings reports due this week, including SoftBank Corp tomorrow and SoftBank Group and Toyota on Wednesday, he said.

In Tokyo, NTT Docomo was up 0.53 per cent at ¥2,630 after a brokerage firm revised up its estimate on the shares’ value.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical rallied 3.29 per cent to ¥8,160 after a brokerage firm revised up the shares’ value.

But Sony was down 8.03 per cent at ¥5,057 after it said it has lowered its annual sales forecast.

Honda was down 3.05 per cent at ¥3,146 after it said it logged a fall of 34.5 per cent in net profit for the nine months to December. — AFP

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