Tokyo stocks open up on cheaper yen after US rate cut

Tokyo, Sept 19 (AFP/APP):Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday helped by a cheaper yen against the dollar after the US Federal Reserve announced a rate cut.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.85 percent or 186.71 points at 22,147.42, while the broader Topix index was up 0.78 percent or 12.59 points at 1,619.21.

“Japanese shares are seen gaining slowly after the yen became cheaper against the dollar following the Federal Reserve’s announcement,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Wall Street had a split finish on Wednesday while other markets kept to the sidelines as the US Federal Reserve announced its second interest rate cut of the year. As markets widely expected, the Fed cut the benchmark US lending rate by a quarter point.

Currency traders, however, reacted to what were seen as hawkish further rate cut comments by the central bank, sending the dollar higher against its major peers.

Japan’s central bank is expected to issue its own policy decision later Thursday, with most observers forecasting it will not authorise further easing.

The dollar fetched 108.43 yen in Asian trade, unchanged from overnight in New York but higher than 108.20 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade on Wednesday.

Automakers were among the winners, with Honda rallying 0.82 percent to 2,921 yen, Toyota trading up 0.29 percent at 7,442 yen and Nissan up 0.43 percent at 717 yen. Airlines also gained, with ANA holdings trading up 0.75 percent at 3,746, Japan Airlines up 0.73 percent at 3,423 yen.

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