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Tokyo stocks open higher on hopes for corporate results

Employees of a foreign exchange trading company look at monitors in front of another monitor displaying the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the US dollar in Tokyo December 27, 2013. — Reuters picEmployees of a foreign exchange trading company look at monitors in front of another monitor displaying the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the US dollar in Tokyo December 27, 2013. — Reuters picTOKYO, Oct 17 — Tokyo stocks opened higher today, tracking gains on Wall Street with investors beginning to price in bullish expectations for sound corporate results as earnings season gets underway.

The Nikkei 225 index, which has risen for the past 10 consecutive sessions, edged up 0.49 per cent, or 104.60 points, to 21,360.16 in early trade.

The broader Topix index was also higher by 0.45 per cent or 7.75 points, at 1,726.93.

The earnings season starting next week “is expected to see brisk results and that is supporting share prices,” said Nobuyuki Kawamata, chief analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

“Rallies in US shares are providing a tailwind for Japanese shares,” he added.

Wall Street stocks jumped to fresh records Monday, boosted by bank shares that gained on expectations the Federal Reserve will again increase interest rates this year.

All three major indices ended at records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.4 per cent to 22,956.96.

The dollar was trading in a narrow range, at ¥112.18 (RM4.21) in early Asian trade, against ¥112.21 in New York.

Turning to individual shares, Kobe Steel was up 4.71 per cent at ¥866, rebounding for a second day after the stock lost a total of 40 per cent of its value since the start of last week owing to a fake data scandal.

Meanwhile, Kansai Electric was up 0.12 per cent at ¥1,578.5 after a report that it will decommission two of its old nuclear reactors. 

Japanese banks followed their American counterparts higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ up 1.26 per cent at ¥741.9, and rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial higher by 0.61 per cent at ¥4,424.

Mitsubishi Chemical was up 0.79 per cent at ¥1,139 on expectations for its second-quarter results due early next month. — AFP

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