[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.31 per cent higher Thursday as the dollar held up against the yen on speculation over the timing of a US rate hike.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed at a fresh 15-year high on Wednesday, added 61.31 points to 19,851.12 at the start.
The dollar held steady after rising on the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting that showed a split over the timing of an interest-rate increase.
Differences of views within the Fed countered an earlier market conviction that a June hike was now off the table.
The dollar was at 120.12 yen early Thursday, compared with 120.14 yen in New York late Wednesday and up from 119.91 yen in Tokyo earlier on Wednesday.
The euro bought US$1.0778 and 129.49 yen against US$1.0780 and 129.52 yen in US trade.
US stocks firmed Wednesday as the Royal Dutch Shell acquisition of BG Group alongside a large potential pharma deal offset concerns about earnings season and US monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.15 per cent while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.27 per cent.