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Tokyo stocks open higher on optimism over US-China trade talks

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday, extending global rallies on Friday as optimism grew over a breakthrough in efforts to defuse a US-China trade war.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.86 per cent, or 177.53 points, to 20,843.60 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.91 per cent, or 14.11 points, at 1,571.70.

Investors were awaiting a set of economic indicators in China due later in the day "to see the potential impact from the trade frictions after China's exports and imports both shrank in December", said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The market is also watching the International Monetary Fund's growth forecasts due later in the day, he added.

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The dollar fetched 109.62 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.72 yen in New York late Friday.

Panasonic was up 3.16 per cent to 1,092 yen and Toyota was up 0.92 per cent at 6,861 yen after a weekend report that the electronic giant and the auto titan will set up a joint venture to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

Nissan was up 0.76 per cent at 9,205 yen amid reports the French government has told Tokyo that it wants a merger between Renault and the Japanese auto giant following the arrest of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday dismissed the reports of merger talks, saying "the subject is not on the table".

In New York, the Dow closed up 1.4 per cent at 24,706.35 on Friday.

AFP