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Wednesday, August 23, 2017       10:55 WIB
Tokyo stocks up at break

Tokyo, Aug 23, 2017 (AFP)
Tokyo stocks edged up Wednesday morning on the back of a global equities rally as investors brushed aside concerns about political uncertainty with hopes rising for a market-friendly US tax reform plan.

A weaker yen, which is good news for Japanese exporters, helped lift stocks, with the dollar fetching 109.64 yen in 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.

However, reports that North Korea plans to boost ICBM production "have stirred wariness" and capped the market's gains, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

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.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.46 percent, or 89.33 points, to sit at 19,473.17 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.45 percent, or 7.12 points, at 1,603.24.

Sony shares rose 1.26 percent to 4,224 yen and Panasonic was up 0.37 percent to sit at 1,463 yen.

Toyota rose 1.01 percent to 6,200 yen, while rival automaker Honda was up 0.16 percent at 3,027 yen and Nissan tacked on 0.27 percent to end the morning at 1,095 yen.

Toshiba jumped 4.63 percent to 316 yen after reports said the struggling conglomerate and its US partner Western Digital were in talks over the sale of Toshiba's flash memory arm.









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