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Tokyo stocks push higher at open

A pedestrian looks at the electric stock indicator in the window of a security company in Tokyo on August 13, 2013. — AFP picA pedestrian looks at the electric stock indicator in the window of a security company in Tokyo on August 13, 2013. — AFP picTOKYO, Oct 12 — Tokyo stocks opened higher this morning, as the market took heart from a relatively cheaper yen and gains in the US market, while scandal-hit Kobe Steel fell for a third straight day.

The bellwether Nikkei 225 index inched up 0.34 per cent, or 71.48 points, to 20,952.75 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.33 per cent or 5.68 points, at 1,702.49.

Surveys pointing to a clear victory for the ruling party in forthcoming Japanese elections were contributing to a weaker yen and pushing up stocks, Mizuho Securities said in a note to clients.

The dollar changed hands at ¥112.43 (RM4.22) in early Asian trade, compared with ¥112.50 in New York and ¥112.28 in Tokyo yesterday afternoon.

Investors were also digesting minutes of the US Fed released yesterday, which showed US central bankers were sharply divided over whether to increase rates again this year but with many still favouring a hike, analysts added.

On Wall Street yesterday, all three major indices ended at fresh record highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2 per cent at 22,872.89.

Kobe Steel was down 0.68 per cent at ¥872 in early trade following a 22-per cent dive on Tuesday and a further 17.8-per cent tumble yesterday, after the steelmaker admitted falsifying quality data.

New revelations hit Kobe Steel late yesterday, as the firm admitted it had also falsified data on iron powder and products used to make DVDs.

Some exporters were higher backed by a cheaper yen, with Toyota gaining 0.71 per cent at ¥6,981 and chip making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rising 1.47 per cent to ¥17,615.

Uniqlo casual wear parent company Fast Retailing was down 0.76 per cent at ¥34,820 ahead of its earnings report. — AFP

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