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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.35% higher

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 08:46
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Tokyo stocks opened 0.35 per cent higher on Friday with investor sentiment buoyed by the dollar's uptick against the yen following a strong US retail sales report.

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.35 per cent higher on Friday with investor sentiment buoyed by the dollar's uptick against the yen following a strong US retail sales report.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which lost nearly four percent over the previous three days, rose 60.29 points to 17,317.69 at the start.

The dollar was at 119.04 yen early Friday compared with 118.65 yen in New York Thursday afternoon and 118.15 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

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

The euro was mixed after losing ground on the European Central Bank's disappointing sale of new loans to banks on Thursday.

The common European currency slipped to US$1.2394 Friday from US$1.2410 in US trade while firming to 147.52 yen from 147.24 yen.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.36 percent after data showed solid retail sales in November, the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

The gains were limited by concerns over the rapid fall in oil prices.

While lower oil prices are considered a boost for US consumer spending, their rapid fall has made investors nervous due to fears that a major hedge fund or bank could be hurt.

US oil prices closed below US$60 a barrel for the first time since July 2009. Oil prices have fallen more than 40 per cent since June.

AFP