Tokyo stocks open higher with eyes on earnings

Tokyo, Oct 21 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest failure to break the Brexit deadlock, with eyes shifting to Japanese corporate earnings season starting this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.25 percent, or 55.82 points, at 22,548.50 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was rose 0.28 percent, or 4.58 points, to 1,626.57.

“As the Brexit issue is now likely to be an ‘extended game’, the Japanese market this week will test the upside,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Investors were closely watching the dollar-yen rate with their attention shifting to Japanese corporate earnings reports starting this week, it added.

The dollar fetched 108.37 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.35 yen in New York late Friday.

The currency market shrugged off weekend drama in the British parliament when Johnson’s EU divorce agreement was met with a vote in favour of an amendment that effectively withholds approval of the deal.

British lawmakers voted to force Johnson to ask the EU for another Brexit delay, hoping to prevent the country crashing out of the bloc on October 31 with no agreement in place.

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“There is no Brexit resolution, yet the outlook remains encouraging,” Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a commentary.

“The votes in the UK’s House of Commons look to have tipped in favour of passing the deal cemented last week with the European Union” despite a failure to approve the hard-fought deal with the EU last week, he added.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Toyota was up 0.31 percent at 7,391 yen, Panasonic was up 0.94 percent at 896.6 yen and Advantest was up 0.75 percent at 5,330 yen.

Japan booked a trade deficit of 123 billion yen ($1.14 billion) in September, the third consecutive monthly deficit, according to finance ministry data released 10 minutes before the opening bell.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 1.0 percent at 26,770.20.

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