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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.32% higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.32 per cent higher on Thursday, backed by gains on Wall Street and a weak yen as well as relief over the European Central Bank's commitment to stimulus policies.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 66.43 points to 20,539.94 at the start.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36 per cent Wednesday following a wave of mostly solid US data and a fresh confirmation of ultra-easy money policies by the ECB.

Wrapping up a policy meeting on Wednesday, the ECB kept key interest rates unchanged at their current record low levels and President Mario Draghi dismissed any talk of ending early monetary stimulus plans.

The dollar was at 124.33 yen early Thursday, up from 124.23 yen in New York late Wednesday and 123.90 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases profits when repatriated.

The euro stayed mostly firm after rallying on the ECB's forecast of higher near-term inflation, buying US$1.1261 and 140.00 yen on Thursday compared with US$1.1270 and 140.01 yen in US trade.