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Tokyo stocks open higher tracking US gains

·3-min read

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as investors priced in the expectation of further interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.14 percent, or 40.60 points, at 28,582.71 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.15 percent, or 2.96 points, at 1,983.18.

"Investors felt encouraged to buy Japan stocks by rallies in the US market, but a wait-and-see attitude may emerge in later trade ahead of the release of the US consumer price index," Mizuho Securities said in a commentary.

Wall Street stocks ended with solid gains, continuing an upswing that snapped a three-week losing streak.

Investors are looking ahead to a critical release Tuesday on US consumer prices, followed by Thursday's report on retail sales -- the last major data ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate move next week.

While inflation is expected to have eased in August, largely due to falling gasoline prices, it seems unlikely it will be enough to stave off a third consecutive three-quarter point rate hike from the Fed.

However, National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland believes that "there appears to be a growing consensus that inflation has peaked in the US".

The dollar fetched 142.62 yen in early Asian trade, against 142.82 yen in New York late Monday.

Among individual equities, game giant Nintendo soared 5.11 percent to 61,970 yen after it said domestic sales of its Splatoon 3 game for Nintendo Switch consoles surpassed 3.45 million in the three days since its September 9 launch.

That marks the best domestic sales level for any Switch software in the three days after launch, Nintendo said.

Sony Group barely moved after it said its music business has fully withdrawn from Russia, trading up just 0.04 percent at 10,765 yen about 40 minutes after the opening bell.

"As the war continues to have a devastating humanitarian impact in Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia continue to increase, we can no longer maintain a presence in Russia, effective immediately," the company said in a statement sent to AFP.

Automaker Nissan was down 1.34 percent at 545.5 yen after it said Monday night that it would extend by three months a halt to production at its Saint Petersburg plant in Russia.

The decision means production will be on hold until the end of December, with the firm citing ongoing logistical difficulties for the move.

Airlines continued to rally following reports the Japanese government could significantly loosen Covid-linked border controls, with ANA Holdings trading up 2.83 percent at 2,778.5 and Japan Airlines up 2.04 percent at 2,653 yen.

Toyota was down 0.82 percent at 2,053 yen and Honda was off 2.02 percent at 3,639 yen, after a brokerage firm downgraded its estimate of the shares' performances.

kh/sah/aha