Tokyo: Stocks open 0.44% higher

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.44 per cent higher Tuesday on a weaker yen and gains on Wall Street, while Sharp tumbled nearly 10 per cent after a report that the embattled electronics maker is seeking aid from banks.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 83.64 points to 18,910.52 at the start.

The dollar bought 120.23 yen early Tuesday, up from 120.17 yen in New York Monday afternoon and the 119-yen range seen in Tokyo earlier on Monday.

A lower yen gives a boost to Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases profits when repatriated.

The euro fetched $1.1178 and 134.34 yen, against US$1.1182 and 134.38 yen in US trade.

Shares in Sharp tumbled 9.84 per cent to 229 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling electronics maker plans to request aid from two main lenders, including a 150 billion yen (US$1.24 billion) debt-for-equity swap, before rebounding slightly.

On the New York bourse, the Nasdaq finished above 5,000 Monday for the first time in 15 years, capping a long-running recovery in the exchange after the dot-com bubble burst spectacularly in 2000.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.90 per cent to 5,008.10, breaking the 5,000 barrier for only the third time in its history.

Monday's gains came on a stream of merger announcements, including the US$16.7 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor by NXP Semiconductor, in a deal that links two Nasdaq companies.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 struck new records as well, as US markets marched ahead in a six-year bull run.


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