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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.39% higher

Friday, February 20, 2015 - 08:14
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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.39 per cent higher on Friday, gaining further ground after closing at a 15-year high the previous day while investors awaited last-ditch talks on Greece's debt.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed at its best level since May 2000 on Thursday, added 71.71 points to 18,336.50 at the start.

Buying was boosted Thursday by upbeat Japanese trade data and cautious optimism over a solution to the Greek debt standoff.

The euro stayed weak as talks between Greece and the eurozone on bailout terms hit another snag.

Germany rejected Athens's request for a six-month extension of its EU loan programme without austerity reforms attached.

Finance ministers from the 19-member eurozone were to hold a crunch meeting in Brussels on Friday to consider the proposal by Athens to extend its European loan programme, which expires at the end of the month.

The euro was at US$1.1364 and 135.26 yen early Friday, compared with US$1.1365 and 135.18 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The dollar bought 119.04 yen against 118.94 yen in US trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.24 per cent at 17,985.77 on Thursday following a disappointing forecast from Wal-Mart and weakness in oil stocks.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.37 per cent to 4,924.70, edging closer to the major chart line of 5,000 thanks to strong results from online travel site Priceline.

AFP