Tokyo stocks open higher helped by cheap yen


Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday as investors took heart from a relatively cheaper yen, with relief prevailing after key central bank meetings ended without causing major market

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.27 percent or 59.84 points at 22,104.29 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.25 percent or 3.99 points at 1,619.65.

“Japanese stocks are seen moving in a narrow range as trade is a mixture of profit-taking ahead of a long weekend and bargain-hunting purchases,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

“With a relatively cheaper yen, the external environment is good,” it said.

The Japanese market will be closed on Monday for a public holiday.

The dollar fetched 107.98 yen in Asian trade, against 108.03 yen in New York and 107.93 yen in Tokyo on Thursday.

Among individual shares, some electronics were higher with Panasonic gaining 0.34 percent to 895.7 yen and Sony trading up 0.62 percent at 6,415 yen.

Mega bank Mitsubishi UFJ was up 0.05 percent at 565.4 yen after the Financial Times reported it is preparing to cut half of its Asian investment banking workforce outside Japan. The bank declined to confirm the report.

Its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial was down 0.18 percent at 3,779 yen. Japan’s core consumer price index — which excludes fresh food — was up0.5 percent year-on-year in August, in line with market expectations,  according to official data released 30 minutes before the opening bell.

Excluding both fresh food and energy, the prices rose 0.6 percent, the internal ministry said.

The latest data — a sign the world’s third-largest economy is on track to mild inflation, if very slowly — came a day after the Bank of Japan held fire on its monetary policy after the US and European central banks took further easing measures.

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