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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.24% higher on upbeat Wall Street lead


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.24 per cent higher on Wednesday, boosted by a slightly weaker yen and gains on Wall Street ahead of a Federal Reserve policy announcement expected to shed light on a closely watched interest rate hike.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 48.16 points to 20,306.10 in early trading.

Markets are hoping for some clues about the US central bank's timing for an interest rate rise following a broadly upbeat string of data on the world's top economy in recent weeks.

Friday sees the Bank of Japan conclude its own meeting, which will be watched to see if and when it will expand its stimulus programme.

Investors were also keeping a close eye on Greece as concerns about Athens not reaching a deal with creditors and defaulting on its debt mount.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday accused international creditors of trying to "humiliate" his country and called on Europe to reconsider its support for tough International Monetary Fund reform proposals.

"I expect there to be a sense of relief if (Fed chair Janet) Yellen says that they won't hurry into rate hikes, or says something supportive toward a recovery in the US economy," Hiroichi Nishi, a manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"The market continues to be wary of Greece's possible default."

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.57 per cent, while the Nasdaq advanced 0.51 per cent.

In forex markets, the dollar was at 123.45 yen against 123.36 yen in US trade.


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