Tokyo stocks open higher on US rallies, cheaper yen

A man walks by an electronic stock board in Tokyo on Dec 18, 2019. PHOTO: AP

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday (Dec 23) helped by rallies on Wall Street, a cheaper yen, and sustained positive sentiment on United States-China trade.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.43 per cent, or 101.45 points, to 23,918.08 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.23 per cent, or 4.04 points, at 1,737.11.

US President Donald Trump said Friday he had a "very good talk" with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a partial resolution of the trade war.

"Investors took heart from President Trump's comments" that the bilateral talks with China were productive, Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in a commentary.

Trump tweeted that China "already started large scale" increases in purchases of US farm goods, in line with the deal.

However, he did not give a date for when the so-called "phase one" agreement will actually be signed.

The comments helped boost US stocks on Friday, with all three major indices ending at all-time highs, with the dollar edging higher against its major peers, including the yen.

In Asia on Monday, the US dollar fetched 109.45 yen against 109.47 yen in New York late Friday.

In Tokyo, China-linked shares were higher with construction machinery giant Komatsu gaining 0.86 per cent to 2,675 yen and industrial robot maker Fanuc advancing 0.58 per cent to 20,690 yen.

Chip-related shares were also higher, with Tokyo Electron trading up 0.83 per cent at 24,150 yen and Advantest up 0.48 per cent at 6,180 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.3 per cent at 28,455.09.

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