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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.15% higher

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.15 per cent higher on Thursday as investors wait for the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 26.16 points to 17,306.64 at the start.

The ECB is expected to further open the liquidity floodgates and announce a programme of bond purchases, known as quantitative easing, to prop up the sagging 19-nation eurozone economy.

The Bank of Japan on Wednesday slashed its inflation outlook as plunging oil prices dent efforts to slay deflation, but policymakers boosted their growth forecasts and said the economy was rebounding.

Market voices on:

The bank, which held off fresh easing measures, said inflation for the year starting in April would come in at 1.0 per cent, well down from an earlier 1.7 per cent forecast.

But the economy would expand by 2.1 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent, it said.

The dollar was 118.09 yen against 117.90 yen in New York.

The euro bought $1.1596 and 136.98 yen early Thursday compared with US$1.1607 and 136.85 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 39.05 points (0.22 per cent) at 17,554.28.