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Tokyo stocks open up 0.78%

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TOKYO, Nov 16 AFP

November 16 2012, 11:31AM

Tokyo stocks opened 0.78 per cent higher on Friday with sentiment buoyed by the weaker yen amid hopes for aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 68.61 points at 8,898.33.

Favourable currency market movements would offset Thursday's drops on European and US bourses, as well as weak forecasts from US retailers, and news that the eurozone had fallen into recession, traders said.

"A weaker yen is paramount to upward stock price movement," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.

"After pronounced weakness since the conclusion of the US presidential election, US stocks have been oversold, while Japan stocks have technical room for more upside," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Japanese exporters have been dealt a blow by a strong yen which reduces their income when repatriated.

The dollar was at 81.14 yen in early Asian trade, almost unchanged from 81.16 yen in New York late Thursday but sharply up from 80.20 yen in Tokyo early Thursday.

The euro bought 103.62 yen and $1.2779 compared with 103.69 yen and $1.2778 in US trade.

The yen tumbled Thursday after Japan's main opposition leader Shizo Abe, the front runner to become next prime minister after December 16 elections, said he would press the central bank to ease monetary policy.

US stocks zig-zagged around the break-even line in volatile trade Thursday before ending slightly lower, pulled down in part by Walmart's disappointing earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.23 per cent at 12,542.38.