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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.33% higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.33 per cent higher on Thursday after five days of gains, backed by record closings on Wall Street and the dollar's rise against the yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, added 56.14 points to 16,993.46 at the start.

"After rising over 10 per cent during the last five sessions, stocks are overheated, and certainly due for a short-term technical pullback, but reflexive dollar-driven buying is enabling the market to resist major profit-taking," said Mutsumi Kagawa, senior global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

A strong dollar against the yen is a positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates profits when repatriated.

The dollar was at 114.63 yen early Thursday, little changed from 114.69 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon but up from 114.06 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

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The yen plunged after the Bank of Japan's decision last week to expand its already huge stimulus programme.

The dollar got fresh fuel Wednesday as news that US Republicans took control of both houses of Congress lifted hopes for pro-business policies.

New York shares Wednesday closed at fresh record highs on the news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.58 per cent to 17,484.53, about 95 points above the previous record. The S&P 500 gained 0.57 per cent to 2,023.57, also a record finish.


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