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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.34% higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.34 per cent higher on Friday as the dollar rose against the yen ahead of the release of a closely watched US jobs report.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 63.01 points to 18,814.85 at the start.

Investors were waiting for a monthly US jobs report that if strong enough could support a Federal Reserve interest rate increase.

The dollar rose ahead of the release later Friday.

The dollar was at 120.10 yen early Friday, marginally down from 120.14 yen in New York Thursday afternoon but up from 119.85 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

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

Shares in Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings jumped 2.22 per cent to 3,782.5 yen in early trade after the Nikkei newspaper reported the non-life insurer had decided to take a roughly 15 per cent stake in French reinsurance giant Scor for more than 110 billion yen (US$910 million).

US stocks Thursday snapped a two-day losing streak, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.21 per cent partly on news of European monetary stimulus.

The euro remained weak as the European Central Bank said it would begin a 1.1-trillion-euro (US$1.2 trillion) bond buying programme next week.

The common European currency bought US$1.1025 in Asia on Friday against US$1.1028 in US trade where it pushed below $1.10 for the first time since September 2003.

It is sharply down from around US$1.12 at the beginning of the week.

Against the Japanese currency, the euro fetched 132.43 yen from 132.50 yen in New York.


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