Tokyo stocks open higher on US rallies, cheaper yen

Tokyo, Dec 23 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday helped by rallies on Wall Street, a cheaper yen, and sustained positive sentiment on US-China trade.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.43 percent, or 101.45 points, to 23,918.08 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.23 percent, or 4.04 points, at 1,737.11.

US President Donald Trump said Friday he had a “very good talk” with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a partial resolution of the trade war.

“Investors took heart from President Trump’s comments” that the bilateral talks with China were productive, Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in a commentary.

Trump tweeted that China “already started large scale” increases in purchases of US farm goods, in line with the deal.

However, he did not give a date for when the so-called “phase one” agreement will actually be signed.

The comments helped boost US stocks on Friday, with all three major indices ending at all-time highs, with the dollar edging higher against its major peers, including the yen.

In Asia on Monday, the dollar fetched 109.45 yen against 109.47 yen in New York late Friday.

In Tokyo, China-linked shares were higher with construction machinery giant Komatsu gaining 0.86 percent to 2,675 yen and industrial robot maker Fanuc advancing 0.58 percent to 20,690 yen.

Chip-related shares were also higher, with Tokyo Electron trading up 0.83 percent at 24,150 yen and Advantest up 0.48 percent at 6,180 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.3 percent at 28,455.09.

Asian markets struggle for traction, dealers await trade details

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