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Tokyo: Stocks open higher despite caution over Italy

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday, helped by rallies on Wall Street, rebounding from falls the previous day driven by worries over political uncertainty in Italy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.63 per cent or 139.48 points to 22,158.00 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.58 per cent or 10.09 points at 1,746.22.

The crisis in Italy continued to hover, with anti-establishment leader Luigi Di Maio seeking to resurrect a populist coalition that collapsed over the weekend by offering the president a compromise on a controversial pick for economy minister.

Global investors took a measured view of the situation, bidding up shares that tumbled in Tuesday's session, with the Dow closing up 1.3 per cent on Wednesday.

The US dollar was quoted at 108.58 yen in early Asian trade, down slightly from 108.91 yen.

SBI Securities said early morning rebounds helped by those on US bourses meant "sell orders by those who had been waiting for rebounds may weigh on the market".

"Concerns over Italian political-economic risks may linger, which could prompt a wait-and-see attitude by investors," it said in a commentary.

Operator of oil development and refinery JXTG rallied 3.28 per cent to 697.6 yen and its rival Inpex was up 0.90 per cent at 1,222.5 yen after oil price indexes stabilised in New York, analysts said.

Some exporters were higher, with Olympus trading up 1.19 per cent at 3,800 yen, Canon up 0.87 per cent at 3,725 yen and Toyota up 1.92 per cent at 6,972 yen.

Minutes before the opening bell, official data showed Japan's factory output picked up 0.3 per cent in April, lower than market expectations of a 1.4 per cent rise month-on-month.

The data comes after the world's third-largest economy slid into reverse for the first time in two years at the beginning of the year.

AFP

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