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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.34% higher


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.34 per cent higher on Monday as a lower yen lifted investor sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed at a fresh 15-year high on Friday, was up 69.41 points at 20,333.82 in the first minutes of trading.

Japan's trade account returned to deficit in April but the shortfall shrank drastically to 53.4 billion yen (US$440 million) against the 825.5 billion yen a year earlier, official data released 10 minutes before the opening bell showed.

The dollar surged on Friday on an unexpected jump in US core inflation in April and remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in support of a raise in the key rates this year.

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The dollar was at 121.57 yen early Monday, up slightly from 121.52 yen in New York late Friday and sharply up from 120.71 in Tokyo earlier Friday.

The euro bought US$1.0996 and 133.69 yen against US$1.1016 and 133.86 yen in US trade.

The US Commerce Department reported that core consumer prices - those excluding food and energy - jumped 0.3 per cent in April from March, the largest one-month rise in more than two years.