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Tokyo: Stocks open higher on US jobs data
[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday after rosy US jobs numbers provided relief to investors on the prospects for the world's biggest economy.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.55 per cent, or 108.84 points, to 20,061.17 in the first minute of trade while the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.55 per cent, or 9.05 points, at 1,640.50.
The US economy continued robust job creation in July, with the unemployment rate falling back to a 16-year low amid strong hiring in restaurants and health care, government data showed Friday.
The healthy jobs report was another dose of welcome news for an embattled White House facing a stalled policy agenda and historically low public approval ratings.
Brisk US data "show sound figures in exports to US by Japanese companies, and also provides a good factor from price perspectives as the dollar's decline would stop," Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.
The US economy added 209,000 net new positions for the month, well above analyst forecasts but below June's 231,000, the Labor Department reported.
The gain meant the unemployment rate ticked back down a tenth of a point to 4.3 per cent, the same as in May, when it reached its lowest level in 16 years.
The dollar was quoted at 110.80 yen in early Asian trade Monday, up from 110.68 yen in New York late Friday.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Toyota was up 1.31 per cent at 6,298 yen while its smaller rival Mazda was 1.59 per cent higher at 1,715.5 yen, after the Japanese automakers announced Friday a capital tie-up to focus on joint development of electric vehicles.
On Friday Toyota also lifted its annual earnings forecast.
Panasonic advanced 0.56 per cent to 1,513 yen and electronic components maker Kyocera added 0.79 per cent to 6,693 yen.
Telecom giant Softbank was up 0.54 per cent at 8,866 yen ahead of its earnings report later Monday.