Tokyo stocks jump 1.92% on opening after Fed says no hurry to raise interest rates

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 1.92 per cent higher on Thursday, buoyed by the US dollar's jump against the yen and gains on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 323.22 points at 17,142.95 at the start.

The dollar was at 118.80 yen early Thursday, up from 118.63 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon and 117.07 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

The greenback rose after the US Federal Reserve signalled no shift in its expectation to raise interest rates in 2015.

The Federal Open Market Committee "judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalise the stance of monetary policy," the Fed's policy arm said in a statement after a two-day meeting.

The Fed said the policy was consistent with its prior statement that it would only begin normalisation "a considerable time" after the end of massive asset purchases, which occurred at a meeting in October.

A weak yen is a positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates profits when they are repatriated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared nearly 300 points Wednesday after the Fed made no changes to its monetary policy.

The blue-chip index closed up 288.00 points (1.69 per cent) at 17,356.87.

In Tokyo stocks trade, Sony rose 2.15 per cent to 2,416.0 yen in the first few minutes after its Hollywood studio cancelled the December 25 release date of "The Interview", a parody film which has angered North Korea and triggered chilling threats from hackers.

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