Tokyo stocks open higher as yen eases

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index turned up 0.52 per cent, or 120.91 points, to 23,325.77 in early trade. — Reuters pic
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index turned up 0.52 per cent, or 120.91 points, to 23,325.77 in early trade. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Jan 7 ― Tokyo stocks opened higher today, propped up by gains on Wall Street and a breather in the yen's rise amid US-Iran tensions.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which lost nearly two per cent yesterday, turned up 0.52 per cent, or 120.91 points, to 23,325.77 in early trade. The broader Topix index was up 0.54 per cent or 9.11 points at 1,706.60.

“Concerns about the Middle Eastern situation still remain but risk aversion will likely ease given the calm in dollar-yen trade,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary. 

US equities ended higher yesterday, bucking a downward trend in Europe and Asia after the US killing of a top Iranian general last week.

Since he ordered a drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, US President Donald Trump has warned of a “major retaliation” if Tehran takes revenge, triggering a sell-off in stocks and a spike in crude prices.

Markets will remain cautious but investors were “clearly in wait-and-see mode” now, said Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.

The Japanese currency had soared on safe-haven buying but later eased somewhat.

The dollar was trading at ¥108.37 (RM4.09) early today against ¥108.40 in New York yesterday afternoon.

In Tokyo individual stocks trade, shipping companies kept sliding, with Nippon Yusen down 0.25 percent at ¥1,919 and Mitsui OSK Lines off 0.75 per cent at ¥2,876.

But SoftBank Group rose 1.42 per cent to ¥4,634 and Sony gained 1.80 per cent to ¥7,554. ― AFP

Related Articles