Tokyo stocks open higher on ebbing Syria fears

TOKYO, Japan, April 13, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, extending rallies in New York on receded fears over potential US-led military strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.71 percent, or 154.20 points, to 21,814.48 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.62 percent, or 10.62 points, at 1,729.14.

US President Donald Trump put off a final decision on strikes against Syria following a crunch meeting with national security advisors Thursday, his spokeswoman said.

The move sent US shares up with the Dow closing 1.2 percent higher.

“As President Trump suggested there’s no need to hurry in a decision of a strike against Syria, geopolitical risks have receded for now,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Trump also said Thursday he had directed senior aides to explore rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership if a “better deal” could be reached.

Washington withdrew from the deal last year, and the administration’s most hawkish trade advisors favour negotiating bilateral trade agreements.

The dollar fetched 107.29 yen in early Asian trade, against 107.26 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, Fast Retailing was up 1.25 percent at 47,490 yen after the Uniqlo casual wear operator revised up its full-year earnings forecast.

Panasonic was trading up 1.18 percent at 1,540.5 yen and Sony was up 0.71 percent at 5,237 yen.

Toyota was up 0.90 percent at 6,935 yen but its subsidiary Hino Motors was down 2.25 percent at 1,388 yen after it announced a business tie-up with Volkswagen in commercial vehicles.