Tokyo stocks open higher as yen drops

Illustrative picture shows Japanese 10,000 yen bank notes spread out at an office of World Currency Shop in Tokyo in this August 9, 2010 illustrative picture. — Reuters pic
Illustrative picture shows Japanese 10,000 yen bank notes spread out at an office of World Currency Shop in Tokyo in this August 9, 2010 illustrative picture. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Oct 1 — Tokyo stocks opened higher today helped by an easing in US-China trade tensions and the yen’s drop, as investors shrugged off a Japanese survey that showed business confidence continued falling.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.36 per cent or 78.55 points to 21,834.39 in early trade while the Topix was up 0.50 per cent or 7.93 points at 1,595.73.

Investor sentiment got a boost from comments from the Trump administration denying the likelihood of potential new US restrictions on Chinese investment, analysts said.

“US stocks rebounded and the dollar topped ¥108 (RM4.18)” in a positive development for Japanese exporters, Seiichi Suzuki, senior market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, told AFP.

Wall Street dropped on Friday after US media reports that the White House was considering proposals to de-list Chinese companies from US stock markets, or block American investment in China.

Investors are now looking ahead to the resumption of talks between Beijing and Washington in early October, analysts said.

The dollar held firm after rising in New York, changing hands at ¥108.09 against ¥108.10 in US trade yesterday afternoon.

Currency rates hardly moved after the central Bank of Japan released a survey showing confidence among Japan’s biggest manufacturers slipped for the third straight quarter.

The central bank’s September Tankan report — a quarterly survey of about 10,000 companies — showed a reading of 5 among major manufacturers, a slight fall from 7 in the previous quarter, but above a market consensus of a 1 reading.

“A drop had been expected and the actual decline was less than expected... it was only because economists had been overly pessimistic as usual,” Suzuki of Tokai Tokyo said.

In individual stocks trade, SoftBank Group rose 1.88 per cent to ¥4,320 after WeWork announced that it will withdraw a plan to go public for now as it shifts into austerity mode.

Selling had hit the Japanese group, a major shareholder of the startup, due to WeWork’s murky listing prospects.

SoftBank Group, which invests heavily in China as well, also benefited from the US denial of possible restrictions on Chinese investment, Suzuki said.

Automakers were higher with Toyota up 0.90 per cent at ¥7,281 and Honda up 1.37 per cent at ¥2,837. — AFP

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