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Tokyo: Stocks open up on Wednesday

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Wednesday as the yen remained relatively weak with expectations for global economic recovery growing.

European shares rose on Tuesday as nervousness about the EU's political future receded, while the tech-rich Nasdaq finished at a fresh record with Apple reaching a new valuation threshold.

A solid US jobs report late last week further strengthened the odds that the Federal Reserve will stick to a planned course of two more interest rate hikes in 2017, seen as a positive for the dollar.

The greenback fetched 113.63 yen on Wednesday, slightly down from 114.04 yen in New York late Tuesday but higher than 113.97 yen the previous day in Asia.

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"The depreciation of the yen could boost" the Nikkei index as post-French presidential election profit-taking movement Tuesday was modest, said Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito in a commentary.

A weaker yen is positive for Japanese shares as it increases the value of repatriated profits that firms earn overseas.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.25 per cent, or 49.23 points to 19,892.23 in the first minute of trading, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.17 per cent, or 2.61 points, to 1,584.38.

Tokyo stocks declined Tuesday as investors booked profits a day after pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French election pushed the Japanese market to a 17-month high.

In Wednesday trading, Toyota was up 0.39 per cent at 6,159 yen ahead of its earnings report later Wednesday.

Suzuki Motor rose 1.02 per cent at 4,906 yen, after a report said the company will invest some 100 billion yen (S$124 million) in a new production line at one of its plants in India.

Softbank was up 0.96 per cent, also ahead of its earnings release, and after a report it was close to announcing the fundraising close for its technology fund.

The Japanese telecoms giant said last year it hoped to raise as much as US$100 billion for a new technology investment fund it has set up in partnership with Saudi Arabia.

The fundraising close will be announced as soon as next week, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

AFP

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