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Tokyo's Nikkei index bounces back over 20,000 at open
[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Wednesday as a weaker yen boosted exporter shares with the benchmark index jumping back above the psychologically key 20,000 mark.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 0.71 per cent, or 140.94 points, to 20,050.03 in the first 30 minutes of trade.
The benchmark last closed above 20,000 about 15 years ago.
On forex markets, the dollar was at 119.71 yen early Wednesday against 119.63 yen in New York and 119.44 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.
The euro slipped to US$1.0725 and 128.40 yen against US$1.0735 and 128.42 yen in US trade.
A weaker yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates the value of their repatriated profits.
Shortly before markets opened, fresh data showed Japan posted its first trade surplus in nearly three years in March as import bills fell owing to tumbling oil prices while the value of exports to North America soared.
Investor sentiment was also buoyed by a wave of global monetary easing, most recently with China loosening its credit grip on Sunday.
US stocks mostly fell Tuesday, but the Nasdaq stayed in positive territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.47 per cent and the broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.15 per cent, with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite adding 0.39 per cent.