Tokyo stocks open higher on trade hopes

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday, helped by rallies on Wall Street amid increasing optimism over the US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.21%, or 49.05 points, to 23,440.92 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.36%, or 6.12 points, at 1,708.89.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he had not agreed to roll back any import tariffs as part of a partial trade deal the two sides are negotiating.

Amid a steady stream of conflicting reports, Trump’s remarks appeared to push back against Beijing’s claims that the two sides had agreed to remove tariffs in stages as part of a partial deal announced last month.

Following the comments, however, all three indices in the US market ended up on Friday.

Hopes for progress in defusing trade tensions have driven global stocks higher this month, since an agreement would remove a major source of uncertainty in the world economy that is undercutting growth.

“On the backdrop of some progress in the US-China trade talks, optimism over the global economy is growing,” Shuji Hosoi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities based in Tokyo, said in a commentary.

This week, investors are closely watching a series of Chinese economic data due on Thursday as well as Japan’s industrial machine orders on Tuesday for clues on the prospects for the global economy, he added.

In Asia, the dollar fetched 109.20 yen, little changed from 109.21 yen in New York on Friday.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Honda rallied 3.41% to 3,177 yen as its better-than-expected quarterly profit and a share buyback announced Friday outweighed the negative impact of a forecast cut.

Its bigger rival Toyota was down 0.27% at 7,883 yen, while Nissan was down 0.21% at 708.5 yen. Nissan is due to announce its first-half earnings report on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Sony was up 1.47% at 6,664 yen, Canon rose 0.66% to 3,024 yen and Olympus climbed 0.34% to 1,734 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow closed up less than 0.1% at 27,681.24. The S&P 500 ended up 0.3% and the Nasdaq finished 0.5% higher.