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Tokyo stocks open 1.72 percent higher


09:13 AM January 18th, 2013

January 18th, 2013 09:13 AM

TOKYO–Tokyo stocks opened 1.72 percent higher Friday after the dollar hit its highest level in more than two-and-a-half years against the yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 182.33 points to 10,791.97 at the start.

The Nikkei’s further gains came after news reports that the Bank of Japan was preparing to announce additional monetary easing next week and considering open-ended asset purchases in a bid to kickstart the economy, brokers said.

“The BoJ’s words served to allay some of the scepticism about the possibility of further yen weakening that have hit the market lately,” SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

The dollar was at 89.87 yen in early Tokyo trade on Friday, against 89.86 in New York, where the US unit rose to a fresh 30-month high, briefly topping the 90 yen level.

The euro traded at 120.24 yen and $1.3374 in early Friday against 120.20 yen and $1.3375 in US trade overnight.

US stocks closed solidly higher Thursday after US data pointed to an improving employment and housing picture, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 84.79 points, or 0.63 percent, at 13,596.02.

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