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Tokyo: Stocks recover from global rout

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks rose on bargain-hunting on Friday the day after the market joined a global rout amid lingering worries about higher US interest rates and trade wars.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which plunged nearly four per cent on Thursday, gained 0.46 per cent or 103.80 points to close at 22,694.66. Over the week, it lost 4.58 per cent.

The broader Topix index edged up 0.03 per cent or 0.59 points at 1,702.45. The index dropped 5.03 per cent from a week earlier.

Tokyo shares opened lower after US stocks tumbled for a second straight session on Thursday as volatility reigned on Wall Street.

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The declines - which brought major US indices to their lowest levels in months - came as President Donald Trump repeatedly castigated the Federal Reserve for lifting interest rates, sparking worry that the US central bank's independence from politics could be compromised.

But Tokyo stocks rebounded into positive territory in afternoon trade as the yen's decline encouraged investors to buy back shares, which faced extra selling pressure the previous day, said Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato.

"The weak yen helped investors regain buying sentiment following their sweeping sell-off yesterday," Mr Sato told AFP.

The dollar fetched 112.39 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 112.07 yen in New York and 112.17 yen in Tokyo late Thursday.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it inflates profits earned overseas when they are repatriated.

"But volatile trading is expected to continue at least until the end of next week as the market needs more time to regain stability," Mr Sato added.

In individual stocks trade, Nintendo jumped 3.49 per cent to 40,000 yen and Toyota rose 0.16 per cent to 6,608 yen but Sony lost 0.47 per cent to 6,258 yen.

Uniqlo operating chain Fast Retailing, which lost more than 4 per cent on Thursday, dropped another 2.07 per cent to 56,070 yen after reporting a record annual profit due to a forecast quarterly profit decline.

AFP