Tokyo stocks open 0.30% higher

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 0.30 per cent higher on Thursday after US shares edged up to a new record close.

The Nikkei 225 index was up 44.63 points at 15,112.59 at the start.

US stocks rose Wednesday, pushing the S&P 500 to a record close, following mixed economic data a day ahead of the closely watched meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.19 per cent to 1,927.88, nearly three points above Monday's close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.09 per cent to 16,737.53.

The market was rife with speculation that the ECB would cut interest rates on Thursday to fight a growing threat of deflation.

The euro bought US$1.3603 early Thursday against US$1.3599 in New York Wednesday afternoon while inching down to 139.61 yen from 139.68 yen.

The dollar was quoted at 102.65 yen against 102.74 yen in US trade.