Nikkei opens up after passing 27-year high

A man walks past electronic boards showing Japan’s Nikkei average, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and foreign exchange rates outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Tokyo’s key Nikkei index opened higher on Tuesday, building on a 27-year high at the previous close, and buoyed by a cheap yen and advances on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which finished at its best level since November 1991 on Monday, added 0.50%, or 121.24 points, to 24,367.00 in early trade while the broader Topix index gained 0.60%, or 10.89 points, to 1,828.85.

“Japanese stocks will chase higher prices after the New York Dow’s sharp rise and the yen’s drop,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a note.

Wall Street stocks finished mostly positive on Monday after the United States sealed a trade deal with Canada to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement.

The dollar was at ¥113.96, unchanged from New York on Monday but sharply higher than the 112-yen range seen a week earlier.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it inflates profits earned overseas when they are repatriated.

In individual stocks trade, Toyota rose 1.77% to ¥7,185.

Panasonic, which supplies battery cells to electric carmaker Tesla, jumped 3.10% to ¥1,377 after the US company surged on an agreement with regulators that leaves Elon Musk in place as chief executive.

Energy companies also rose on spikes in oil prices, with Japan Petroleum Exploration up 2.31% at ¥2,695.