Tokyo stocks open higher on lingering hopes for trade

Tokyo, Dec 6 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, extending rallies on Wall Street supported by continued hopes for a US-China trade deal.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.31 percent or 72.91 points to 23,373.00 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.21 percent or 3.61 points at 1,715.02.

US and Chinese negotiators are working to finalise a preliminary trade deal announced in October that would block new tariffs expected to take effect this month. Officials have sent mixed signals on the talks, sending shares gyrating.

But “US shares edged up on expectations for progress in the trade talks,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary, adding that Japanese shares are expected to rise on Wall Street’s gains.

But some investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude ahead of key US employment data due later in the day, he added.

The dollar fetched 108.74 yen in early Asian trade, flat from the level seen in New York.

In Tokyo, steelmakers were among winners, with Nippon Steel gaining 1.75 percent to 1,725 yen and JFE Holdings climbing 3.10 percent to 1,492 yen.

Chip-related shares were also higher, with semiconductor-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron trading up 0.75 percent at 22,605 yen and chip-testing equipment maker Advantest up 0.95 percent at 5,290 yen.

Data released shortly before the opening bell showed Japan’s household spending in October dropped 5.1 percent from a year earlier.

That followed a 9.5-percent surge in September, as consumers bought items ahead of an October 1 hike in the sales tax from eight percent to 10 percent.

The reading was slightly worse than the market consensus of a 3.2 percent drop, but stocks were unaffected.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.1 percent at 27,677.79.


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