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Tokyo stocks open higher, extending rallies in US

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, as gains on Wall Street outweighed concern over geopolitical risk with the US set to open its embassy in Jerusalem next week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.24 percent or 54.70 points to 22,551.88 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.24 percent or 4.27 points at 1,781.89.

Rallies in US stocks led by IT and high-tech shares “reflect the recovery of expectations for growth in profits”, though worries about risks in the Middle East and higher oil prices “could weigh on the market”, said Mutsumi Kagawa, chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities, in a commentary.

“On Monday, the United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem, which will surely prompt reaction from Muslim countries,” he said.

Investors “should consider the impact of higher oil prices on corporate performances but so far the impact on the market is limited”, he added.

Some investors were taking to the sidelines as corporate earnings reports continue, analysts said.

The dollar changed hands at 109.52 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.41 yen in New York late Thursday.

Panasonic rallied 3.64 percent to 1,619 yen after it reported its full-year net profit surged 58 percent to 236 billion yen ($2.1 million).

Bridgestone slipped 1.79 percent to 4,485 yen after its first-quarter operating profit was largely in line with market expectations.

SoftBank rose 1.79 percent to 8,505 yen after a report that its Vision Fund would get backing from a group of new international investors including German carmaker Daimler and three Japanese banks MUFG, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui.

In New York, three major US indices rose, with the Dow closing up 0.8 percent at 24,739.53 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq ending up 0.9 percent at 7,404.97.


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