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Tokyo: Stocks open higher on cheaper yen

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened fractionally higher Friday on a weaker yen, boosting exporters after the Bank of Japan decided to stick to its ultra-loose monetary policy.

The bellwether Nikkei 225 index rose 0.18 per cent or 36.48 points, to 20,383.96 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.10 per cent, or 1.71 points, at 1,670.45.

"As the yen sticks to the level of 112 yen or below to the dollar, Japanese shares will likely keep enjoying solid gains," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

"But the upward trade may be capped by profit-taking" after four days of rallies, it added.

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Analysts said a gap between the policies of the main global central banks was pushing the yen down, as the BoJ hints it would keep its stimulus taps open while the US Federal Reserve has suggested a December rate hike.

On Wall Street, the Dow's streak of seven straight records ended Thursday amid profit-taking and anxiety over tightening Federal Reserve policy, closing down 0.2 per cent at 22,359.23.

In Tokyo, exporters were higher, with Canon trading up 0.31 per cent at 3,801 yen and electronic components maker Kyocera up 0.45 per cent at 7,074 yen.

Banks were also higher, tracking rallies in the US and European markets.

Mitsubishi UFJ climbed 0.56 per cent to 723.5 yen, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial was up 0.46 per cent at 4,314 yen and Mizuho Financial rose 0.45 per cent to 199.1 yen.

AFP