Tokyo stocks open higher on upbeat data, weak yen
Tokyo stocks opened higher Monday on upbeat Japanese data and a weaker yen, with the North Korea crisis in focus as the US pushes for a UN Security Council vote on tough new sanctions against the nuclear-armed state.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.89 percent, or 171.86 points, to 19,446.68 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.89 percent, or 14.16 points, at 1,607.70.
“Players are relieved to see the dollar recovering to the 108 yen level, which supported exporters,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.
In forex markets, the dollar rebounded to 108.22 yen from 107.83 yen in New York late Friday.
A cheaper yen inflates the profitability of exporters’ repatriated profits, bolstering demand for their shares.
Investors also cheered a better-than-expected 8.0 percent on-month rise in Japanese machinery orders for July — a key leading indicator of corporate investment.
There were fears that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un could mark Saturday’s anniversary of the country’s foundation with another missile test, but that failed to materialise.
Now, all eyes are on the UN Security Council where Washington is pushing for a vote on Monday on fresh punitive measures against Pyongyang following its sixth nuclear test — including an oil embargo and asset freezes — despite resistance from China and Russia.
“Cautious trading is expected to continue for now ahead of the UN Security Council” meeting, Horiuchi said.
In share trading, the weaker yen boosted automakers as Toyota rose 0.56 percent to 6,255 yen with rival Nissan up 0.64 percent at 1,096.5 yen.
Sony jumped 2.11 percent to 4,389 yen, Panasonic rose 0.78 percent to 1,480 yen, while video game giant Nintendo gained 0.52 percent to 36,190 yen.
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