Tokyo stocks open higher in cautious trade

Tokyo, Oct 18 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday following rallies on Wall Street in cautious trade ahead of the British parliament’s vote on a new Brexit deal.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.45 percent, or 100.87 points, at 22,552.73, while the broader Topix index was up 0.29 percent, or 4.75 points, at 1,628.91.

“The US rallies are seen supporting Japanese stocks in the early hours of trade, but investor appetite for taking a risk and buying is limited ahead of the UK parliament’s vote over Brexit,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Wall Street stocks rose Thursday partly due to progress in Brexit talks after Britain and the European Union announced a new deal.

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Analysts welcomed the news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached an agreement with EU leaders on a divorce deal that amends the prior deal’s provisions on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

However, Johnson faces an uphill battle getting it through parliament.

Dealers were also closely watching China’s GDP figures for the third quarter due later in the day, analysts said.

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Shortly before the opening bell, Japan’s internal affairs ministry released data showing the country’s core consumer price index edged up 0.3 percent year-on-year in September, slowing from a 0.5 percent rise the previous month.

The latest data underpins the challenge the Bank of Japan faces in achieving its longstanding two-percent inflation target.

The dollar fetched 108.65 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.62 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, China-linked shares were higher, with industrial robot maker Fanuc up 2.15 percent at 21,065 yen and electronic parts maker Rohm up 1.01 percent at 9,000 yen.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 0.99 percent at 69,940 yen.

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