TOKYO – Tokyo stocks opened 0.40 percent higher on Monday as a weakening yen and optimism that US lawmakers will ultimately reach a deal in a Washington budgetary impasse helped buoy Japanese shares.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 38.19 points to 9,485.88.
Also positive for sentiment, official data released Monday showed that capital spending by Japanese firms rose 2.2 percent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier.
Japan posted a surprise uptick in October factory production, a rare bright spot for the world’s third-largest economy, which contracted in the latest quarter, nudging it towards recession and dousing hopes Japan had cemented a recovery after last year’s quake-tsunami disaster.
“Stocks will trend a tad higher, but remain mostly in a tight range,” Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Tokyo’s rise came after Wall Street put in a largely flat performance on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing 0.03 percent higher at 13,025.58.
Investors are confident that a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans will be overcome before a January 1 deadline for implementation of harsh tax hikes and spending cuts.
On currency markets, the euro gained to $1.2998 and 107.17 yen in early Asian trade, from $1.2982 and 107.07 yen in New York late Friday.
The dollar was slightly lower at 82.42 yen from 82.48 yen in US trade.