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Tokyo: Stocks open higher after Wall Street rally

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Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, following rises on Wall Street, as data showed the world's third-biggest economy was growing faster than analysts had expected.

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, following rises on Wall Street, as data showed the world's third-biggest economy was growing faster than analysts had expected.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.68 per cent or 140.11 points to 20,733.46 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.63 per cent or 9.47 points at 1,508.13.

"US stocks rose sharply, providing relief and support to the Tokyo market," said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

The stronger-than-expected GDP data also helped boost the market, he said.

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"The reading of the data itself was not a huge buying peg... but nonetheless it confirmed personal spending could pick up," he said.

Official data showed gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's third-biggest economy grew 0.4 per cent from the previous quarter on robust consumer demand, beating analysts' median forecast of 0.1 per cent.

Japan had an unprecedented string of 10 holidays around the May 1 enthronement of the new emperor, igniting travel and other leisure demand.

In currency trade, the yen remained strong, capping buying in stocks.

The dollar changed hands at 105.99 yen against 106.06 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

IT investor SoftBank Group rose 1.01 per cent to 5,098 yen and Toyota was up 0.60 per cent at 6,851 yen.

AFP