Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened higher Tuesday after Wall Street shares rebounded, with the rises coming despite a North Korean missile test shortly before the opening bell. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 2.59 percent, or 679.77 points, to 26,895.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index added 2.68 percent, or 49.54 points, to 1,897.12. The strong start came after US blue chip shares staged a broad rebound as soft economic data fuelled hopes that Fed officials may soften their resolve to hike interest rates to fight inflation. The Dow surged 2.7 percent, while Nasdaq advanced 2.3 percent. The dollar stood at 144.59 yen, nearly flat from 144.66 yen on Monday in New York. “The Tokyo market is expected to start higher after US shares advanced,” brokerage house Monex said in a note. The global market perked up after the UK government reversed course and shelved controversial plans to cut income tax rate for the wealthy.
The about-face “is a sign that the government is responding to market concerns and also to polling which may mean the new government is not as cavalier as some had feared”, said Tapas Strickland of National Australia Bank.
Shortly before the opening bell, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan and fell into the Pacific. It appeared to have had little impact on the market, but Japan issued special warnings to residents of northern regions to seek shelter. Among major shares, Toyota jumped 2.52 percent to 1,990.5 yen. Sony Group rose 2.50 percent to 9,747 yen. Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing added 2.03 percent to 77,870 yen.