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Tokyo: Stocks open higher on Wednesday

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened higher on Wednesday, recovering from the previous day's sell-off after North Korea fired a missile over Japan.

Global stocks swooned Tuesday after North Korea launched a missile over Japan, deepening geopolitical worries while sending safe-haven assets like gold higher.

But Wall Street righted itself mid-session, with two of its major indices shrugging off missile-related worries and grinding out a positive result for the day, although Hurricane Harvey's impact on Texas and the oil industry weighed on buying sentiment.

"Investors bought back stocks as they are relieved to see gains in New York," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at the investment strategy section of Daiwa Securities.

"The yen's weakness is also helping sustain buying sentiment," Mr Sato told AFP.

"However, the Tokyo market is expected to remain nervous about geopolitical factors for now," he added.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which fell to a four-month low on Tuesday, gained 0.51 per cent, or 99.45 points, to 19,462.00 in the first few minutes of trade, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.41 per cent, or 6.58 points, at 1,604.34.

The dollar, which fell below 109 yen following the missile launch, changed hands at 109.73 yen, compared with 109.75 yen in New York on Tuesday.

A weaker yen is positive for Japanese shares as it boosts the value of exporters' repatriated profits and makes them more competitive overseas.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, a market heavyweight, which tumbled nearly 2 per cent on Tuesday, rose 1.10 per cent to 31,140 yen.

Sony jumped 1.54 per cent to 4,265 yen and Panasonic gained 0.51 per cent to 1,454.5 yen.

Toyota rose 0.73 per cent to 6,135 yen but Nissan edged down 0.04 per cent to 1,085 yen with Honda down 0.06 per cent at 3,038 yen.