Tokyo stocks open higher helped by cheaper yen

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is up 0.37% or 76.78 points, at 20,960.55 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 0.38%, or 5.93 points, to 1,587.26. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors took heart from a cheaper yen and rallies on Wall Street, while keeping a close eye on corporate earnings reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.37% or 76.78 points, at 20,960.55 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 0.38%, or 5.93 points, to 1,587.26.

The dollar fetched 109.98 yen in early Asian trade, slightly higher than 109.92 yen in New York and 109.74 yen in Tokyo on Monday.

Wall Street stocks rose again on Monday, partly due to reassurances from the Federal Reserve of a cautious approach to further interest rate hikes, positive commentary by Beijing and Washington on trade talks and a solid earnings season.

“Japanese shares are seen rising at the start backed by rallies in US shares and a cheaper yen,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

Traders may get more cautious in the coming hours ahead of US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address due on Tuesday, analysts said.

In Tokyo, Toyota edged up 0.25% to 6,744 yen ahead of its earnings report later this week, while small car specialist Suzuki was up 0.75% at 5,757 yen ahead of its earnings later Tuesday.

Mobile phone carrier SoftBank Corp was up 0.59% at 1,361 yen ahead of its earnings report due later Tuesday.

Panasonic was down 6.10% at 996.2 yen after a brokerage house revised down its view of the shares’ value and after the electronics firm said its nine months to December net profit declined 13% year-on-year.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.7% at 25,239.37.