Tokyo stocks open higher as Turkey jitters ease

AFP – Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday after the Turkish lira rebounded but investors continued to keep a nervous eye on Turkey’s currency crisis.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.09 percent or 20.78 points to 22,376.86 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.21 percent or 3.53 points at 1,714.58.

Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as Turkey’s lira recovered some ground.

But investors were watching closely after the lira hit record lows on Monday and equity markets dropped sharply on concerns Turkey’s financial crisis could spread globally.

"Risk aversion triggered by the lira’s plunge is taking a breather for now," Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

But he noted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had not eased his tough stance as he said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods like the iPhone in retaliation for punitive sanctions from Washington.

"We can’t take our eyes off the Turkish situation as how this will develop is increasingly uncertain," Ito said.

The dollar was at 111.27 yen against 111.21 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

In individual stocks trade, Nintendo fell 1.00 percent to 35,550 yen while major banking group Mitsubishi UFJ rose 0.33 percent to 655.9 yen.

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