Tokyo stocks open higher in cautious trade

Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Friday – Tokyo stocks opened higher Friday, as the yen eased slightly against the dollar, with investors on the sidelines amid lack of fresh market-moving factors and concerns lingering over political risks in the US and Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.24 percent, or 51.93 points, to 21,855.88 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.14 percent or 2.49 points at 1,746.09.

The dollar fetched 106.22 yen in early Asian trade, slightly lower than 106.39 yen in New York but higher than around 106 yen levels in late Thursday trading in Tokyo.

"Ahead of a weekend and without fresh material that can move the market, investors are seen taking a wait-and-see attitude," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

Investors remained cautious amid worries over US President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policy and growing pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government over a favouritism scandal, they said.

Automakers were mixed, with Nissan trading up 0.26 percent at 1,125 yen and Toyota up 0.14 percent at 6,941 yen, while Honda traded down 0.59 percent at 3,672 yen.

Game giant Nintendo was up 1.57 percent at 49,810 yen while Sony was down 0.75 percent at 5,405 yen.

In New York, worries about Trump’s trade policy offset a spate of largely positive US economic data, with the Dow ending up 0.5 percent while the S&P and Nasdaq both closed down 0.1 percent.

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