Tokyo stocks open higher on weaker yen

Tokyo stocks open higher on weaker yen

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher Friday on a weaker yen, while investors looked ahead to US GDP data expected later Friday and the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting next week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.26 percent or 59.61 points to 22,646.48 at the open, while the broader Topix index rose 0.27 percent or 4.74 points to 1,770.52.

The dollar was trading at 111.16 yen, down from 111.24 yen in New York Thursday afternoon, but up from 110.98 yen in Tokyo Thursday.

A cheaper yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it inflates their earnings abroad when repatriated.

“There will be buying of Japanese stocks as the Dow in New York rose for three days and the yen is weaker at the 111-yen level” against the dollar, Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

“But it’s unlikely that the purchases will be big ahead of the weekend and while investors await the BoJ meeting.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.5 percent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index stumbled one percent, weighed down by Facebook, which lost nearly 20 percent.

In Tokyo share trading, Toyota gained 0.54 percent to 7,424 yen, while Uniqlo clothing operator Fast Retailing climbed 0.32 percent to 48,680 yen.

Nissan lost 0.43 percent to 1,034.5 yen after it reported a drop in first quarter profits on Thursday, under pressure from rising material costs and a higher yen.