Tokyo shares open higher after US gains

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Tokyo stocks opened higher Thursday, tracking overnight US gains ahead of a meeting of global central bankers that may offer clues about the future pace of interest rate hikes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.21 percent, or 58.92 points, to 28,372.39 while the broader Topix index rose 0.18 percent, or 3.57 points, to 1,970.75. The dollar stood at 136.99 yen, staying firm after hovering around 137 yen overnight. The strong dollar supported exporter stocks, analysts said, along with the government’s decision to remove a pre-departure PCR test requirement for vaccinated travellers to Japan.

But many investors remained focused on the annual symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell is set to speak Friday. Global investors will be watching closely for clues about the speed of US rate hikes to tackle inflation.

The potential impact of Powell’s speech remains unclear, “given how wrong footed the Fed was this time last year,” said Tapas Strickland of National Australia Bank.—AFP

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