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Tokyo: Stocks open higher on trade talks progress, cheaper yen

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday tracking rallies on overseas markets on optimism over US-China trade talks, after US President Donald Trump said the discussions were in an "advanced stage".

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.10 per cent or 20.56 points to 21,548.79 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.04 per cent or 0.57 points at 1,621.44.

The Japanese market was also supported by a cheaper yen against the dollar, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 111.04 yen in early Asian trade, almost unchanged from 111.05 yen in New York but higher than its level below 111 yen in Asian trading hours on Monday.

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US President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to hold a "signing summit" with China's President Xi Jinping to seal a trade deal, since discussions are in the "advanced stages".

The comments cheered global stock markets, as investors bet the dispute would not ratchet up immediately.

Citing progress in the four days of talks, after officials worked through the weekend, Mr Trump on Sunday extended a March 1 deadline, postponing for now a sharp increase in tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods.

"Rallies in US shares and a cheaper yen are seen boosting Japanese stocks," Yutaka Masushima, market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

In Tokyo, some exporters were higher, with Toyota trading up 0.25 per cent at 6,791 yen, its rival Nissan up 0.33 per cent at 1,956 yen and Tokyo Electron, a chip-making equipment manufacturer, trading up 0.48 per cent at 15,685 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow closed 0.2 per cent higher at 26,091.95.

AFP