TOKYO, Jan 27 ― Tokyo stocks opened higher in cautious trade today following a mixed close on Wall Street after Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled an interest rate hike is likely in March.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.39 per cent or 105.37 points at 27,116.70 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 0.51 per cent or 9.68 points to 1,901.53.

Wall Street stocks had been in positive territory yesterday heading into Powell's speech at the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting, but then stumbled with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 0.4 percent to 34,168.09.

The broad-based S&P fell 0.2 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index closed flat.

Powell's comments cemented the US central bank's policy pivot towards fighting inflation, setting up an end to the era of easy money that fuelled Wall Street's record-setting run during the pandemic.

The US market “showed a kind of solid lower limit with some bargain-hunting purchases emerging before the market close, which is a positive factor” for the Japanese market, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

In Tokyo, Toyota was up 1.06 per cent at ¥2,245 (RM82.36), while Sony Group was down 3.49 per cent at ¥12,180.

Industrial robot maker Fanuc soared 6.02 per cent to ¥23,500 after it revised up its full-year earnings forecast.

Motor specialist Nidec was down 1.81 per cent at ¥10,025 after it announced a lower-than-expected operating profit for the third quarter to December.

The dollar fetched ¥114.75 in early Asian trade, against ¥114.64 in New York late yesterday. ― AFP