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Nikkei opens higher on massive US stimulus

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The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.50 percent, or 96.92 points, at 19,442.69 in early trading. AFP Photo

TOKYO (AFP) — The key Nikkei index opened higher on Friday, extending rallies on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve unveiled massive new stimulus.

The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.50 percent, or 96.92 points, at 19,442.69 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.23 percent, or 3.22 points, to 1,413.76.

“Japanese shares are seen rising, encouraged by rallies in US shares… after the Fed’s announcement of emergency stimulus,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a note.

“The focus is whether the Nikkei index will be able to recover the 19,500 level” considered psychologically important, he added.

The dollar fetched 108.51 yen in early Asian trade, against 198.47 yen in New York.

Mutsumi Kagawa, chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities, said the market remains in a state of “tug-of-war between those who are pessimistic (about the virus pandemic) and those who are optimistic,… who think they don’t want to miss a rare chance to buy” shares at cheap prices.

In Tokyo, Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing rallied 5.49 percent to 49,530 despite its announcement revising down profit forecast for the year to August.

Other major shares were mixed, with Toyota slipping 0.75 percent to 6,630 yen and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron trading down 0.28 percent at 22,875 yen, while parts maker Shin-Etsu Chemical was trading up 1.95 percent at 11,475 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow finished up 1.2 percent at 23,719.37.

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