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Tokyo: Shares open 0.75% higher

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street following mixed economic data while a weaker yen supported Japanese exporters.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.75 per cent, or 155.11 points, to 20,769.17 in the first minutes of trading.

US stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday following a series of data showing a patchy picture on the economy.

But a disappointing earnings report from Disney weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which shed 0.06 per cent at 17,540.47.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.31 per cent at 2,099.84, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.67 per cent to 5,139.94.

The Institute for Supply Management said the US service sector expanded 4.3 percent in July to a record high.

But payroll firm ADP estimated the US private sector added 185,000 jobs in July, much below the analyst estimate for 220,000 additional jobs.

"The ISM non-manufacturing data has strengthened the view that US rate hikes will come earlier, weakening the yen," Yutaka Miura, a technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"The weaker currency will be a tailwind for Japanese stocks. We'll still see a focus on individual earnings results," he said.

The dollar fetched 124.83 yen in early morning trade in Tokyo, against 124.88 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The euro was quoted at US$1.0907 and 136.16 yen, against US$1.0904 and 136.18 yen.