Tokyo stocks open higher as US Fed keeps rates unchanged

Tokyo, Dec 12 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, with expectations that the central bank will continue to leave the low rate in place.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.24 percent or 55.67 points at 23,447.53 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.24 percent or 4.04 points to 1,718.99.

“Japanese shares are supported by a sense of relief after the Fed suggested keeping its low-interest rate policy,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary, adding that traders are still eyeing US-China trade talks.

The dollar fetched 108.50 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.56 yen in New York and 108.73 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Fed chief Jerome Powell “would need to see a significant move up with inflation, something it seems we are nowhere near,” to justify changing rates, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

He said the dollar declined on expectations a rate hike would not happen in the near future.

In Tokyo, chip-linked shares were higher, with semiconductor-testing equipment maker Advantest climbing 1.85 percent to 5,480 yen and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallying 2.43 percent to 22,995 yen.

Sony was up 0.69 percent at 7,269 yen and Sharp was up 1.19 percent at 1,690 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.1 percent at 27,911.30.

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