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Wednesday, August 23, 2017       07:56 WIB
Tokyo stocks open higher

Tokyo, Aug 23, 2017 (AFP)
Tokyo stocks opened higher on Wednesday, tracking rebounds in global markets, with investors brushing aside concerns about political uncertainty.

A weaker yen, which is good news for Japanese exporters, helped lift stocks, with the dollar fetching 109.70 yen in early Asian trade, up from 109.56 yen in New York late Tuesday.

Equity markets have been under pressure this month due to factors that include the attacks in Barcelona, tensions between the US and North Korea and doubts about US President Donald Trump following criticism of his response to a white supremacist rally that turned violent.

Concerns about Trump's tax reform eased after a report that Republicans made some progress on the issue, Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

"Worries about North Korea and the Trump administration's quagmire have pressured Japanese shares but such bad news are not expanding and the global financial markets are calming down," he said.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.85 percent, or 164.61 points, to 19,548.45 in the first minutes of trade while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.90 percent, or 14.42 points, at 1,610.54.

Panasonic was up 0.72 percent at 1,468 yen and Sony rose 0.93 percent to 4,230 yen.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial gained 0.81 percent to 4,083 yen while rival Mitsubishi UFJ was up 0.35 percent at 670.5 yen.

Toshiba jumped 5.62 percent to 319 yen after reports said the struggling conglomerate and its US partner Western Digital were in talks to sell Toshiba's flash memory arm.

Investors were also looking ahead to Friday's summit of central bankers in the United States, which will include speeches by ECB chief Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen, analysts said.

On Tuesday, leading bourses in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt climbed between 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent.


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