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Tokyo: Stocks open down 0.49%

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.49 per cent lower Friday, a day after hitting a fresh seven-year high, despite gains in US and European markets on relief over news of a Ukraine ceasefire.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed at its highest level since July 2007 on Thursday, slipped 87.62 points to 17,892.10 at the start.

The dollar was at 118.93 yen early Friday, hardly changed from 118.97 yen in US trade late Thursday but steeply down from 120.27 in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

A stronger yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it erodes profits when repatriated.

In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.62 per cent following a strong day for European equities on the Ukraine news.

Kiev and pro-Russian rebels announced a peace roadmap although Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and others still cautioned that implementing the agreement would not be easy.

The euro remained steady after rallying on the Ukraine ceasefire news and an agreement by Greece and the Eurogroup to return to talks on modifying a bailout programme for Athens.

The euro bought US$1.1403 and 135.63 yen on Friday, compared with US$1.1406 and 135.70 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

AFP