Tokyo stocks open higher on cheaper yen

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday helped by a cheaper yen against the dollar partly due to the European Central Bank’s policy decision and expectations for brisk US economic growth.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.56 percent or 127.39 points to 22,866.00 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.49 percent or 8.68 points at 1,792.57.

The dollar fetched 110.63 yen in early Asian trade, up from 110.58 yen in New York and 109.99 yen in Tokyo on Thursday.

A record high for the US tech-rich Nasdaq index “and a higher dollar would support Japanese shares,” Okasan Online Securities said in a statement.

“The euro dropped against the dollar and the yen, which may be a head wind for stocks with a high ratio of sales in Europe,” it added.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq surged to a fresh record Thursday, boosted by higher media shares, as traders shrugged off trade-war worries amid signs of accelerating US growth.

Meanwhile, the euro tumbled against the dollar after the ECB sketched out a longer-than-expected timeframe for hiking interest rates.

The ECB’s timeframe, included as part of its announcement that it would end stimulus bond-buying this year, stood out all the more a day after the US Federal Reserve accelerated its schedule for hiking interest rates.

In Tokyo, SoftBank was up 0.42 percent at 8,374 yen after reports said it is mulling an investment of dozens of billions of dollars in a solar-power project in India.

Oriental Land rallied 1.85 percent to 11,890 yen after the Tokyo Disney Resort operator announced a plan to expand the park.

Sony was up 0.90 percent at 5,436 yen while Nintendo was up 1.69 percent at 37,360.