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Tokyo stocks open higher as North Korea fears ease

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Pedestrians walk past an electronic indicator showing a foreign exchange rate against the US dollar in Tokyo on May 24, 2018. Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index fell for the third consecutive session on May 24, with automakers battered by news that Washington was considering possible tariffs on automobile imports. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday as geopolitical worries ebbed after US and North Korean officials met Sunday to resume preparations for a summit between the leaders of the two countries.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.15 percent or 33.77 points to 22,484.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.03 percent or 0.48 points at 1,772.18.

“Excessive worries receded as efforts resumed for a summit between the US and North Korea,” Okasan Online Securities strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

“However active trading is not expected as there still remains uncertainty.”

Monday trade was thin because of a lack of foreign investors as bourses in London and New York were to be closed for public holidays on Monday, analysts said.

Sony was up 2.10 percent at 5,188 yen, Hitachi climbed 0.60 percent at 824.7 yen, while manufacturer of chip-making equipment Tokyo Electron rose 1.52 percent at 21,655 yen after the Nasdaq ended up in New York on Friday.

The dollar fetched 109.74 yen in early Asian trade, up slightly from 109.40 yen in New York late Friday.

On Wall Street, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent to close at 24,753.09, and broader S&P 500 lost the same amount to end at 2,721.33.

But chipmakers lifted the Nasdaq by 0.1 percent to finish at 7,433.85.


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