Tokyo stocks open up 1.82 percent

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09:32 AM May 10th, 2013

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May 10th, 2013 09:32 AM

TOKYO–Tokyo stocks opened 1.82 percent higher on Friday following the dollar’s surge past the 100 yen mark overnight.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 257.76 points to 14,449.24 at the start of the day.

The US dollar topped 100 yen for the first time in more than four years on Thursday as Tokyo’s aggressive stimulus efforts to reflate the Japanese economy continue to depress its currency.

“The dollar’s breach of the 100 yen level is iconic and will automatically draw more interest to Japan as a potential equity investment destination,” a fund manager at a foreign asset management company told Dow Jones Newswires.

The dollar’s gain against the yen came after US initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 last week, its lowest level since mid-January 2008, the Labor Department reported.

Such data translates into higher expectations that the Federal Reserve will likely begin tightening monetary policy this year rather than in 2014, analysts said, boosting the greenback’s prospects.

“The strong US jobs data showed more proof that the US economy is on the rebound, a powerful fundamental theme that should, along with the weaker yen, keep the market bullish” in Tokyo, SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities, Hiroichi Nishi, said.

The dollar was changing hands at 100.87 yen in early Asian trade Friday against 100.55 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The euro bought $1.3028 against $1.3044.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.50, or 0.15 percent, to 15,082.62 on Thursday as buyers took a breather after a slate of successive record closes.

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