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Tokyo: Stocks slightly higher in early trade

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Tokyo stocks were slightly higher in early trade on Monday, shrugging off drops on Wall Street and a lull in the dollar's rise against the yen.

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks were slightly higher in early trade on Monday, shrugging off drops on Wall Street and a lull in the dollar's rise against the yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which on Friday ended above 19,000 points for the first time in 15 years, added 0.25 per cent, or 47.72 points, to 19,301.97 in the first few minutes of trade.

Tokyo stocks have been gaining ground on expectations for higher corporate earnings and wages as well as the Bank of Japan's super-easy monetary policy.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.82 per cent on Friday on renewed anxiety over falling oil prices and the rising US dollar.

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The dollar has been lifted by expectations of a Fed hike of near-zero interest rates some time this year, a sharp contrast to a rash of rate cuts and stimulus by other central banks.

The greenback scored a fresh 12-year high of $1.0451 on the euro early on Monday.

It later came off slightly to $1.0488 compared with $1.0489 in New York late on Friday.

Against the yen, the dollar's rise took a breather, inching down to 121.37 yen from 121.44 yen in New York late on Friday.

A stronger yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive abroad and erodes profits when repatriated.

Against the Japanese currency, the euro fetched 127.31 yen and 127.38 yen in US trade on Friday.

AFP

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