Tokyo stocks open higher, snap vote eyed
Tokyo stocks opened moderately higher Monday on a weaker yen as traders kept a close eye on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's expected announcement of snap elections.
The bellwether Nikkei 225 index rose 0.66 percent, or 132.98 points, to 20,429.43 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.52 percent, or 8.67 points, at 1,673.28.
"The yen is in a favourable range for Japanese stocks," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.
The dollar traded at 112.48 yen in early Asian trade, compared with 112.06 yen in New York late Friday.
"Market players are paying attention to the election, hoping for campaign pledges to boost the economy," Horiuchi told AFP.
Abe is largely expected to announce later Monday that snap elections will be held on October 22, seeking to capitalise on rising public support amid tensions over North Korea.
Boosted by a weaker yen, exporters led gains on the Tokyo market, with Toyota rising 0.63 per cent to 6,776 yen and Nissan up 0.30 per cent at 1,255.5 yen.
Nintendo, which faced profit-taking late last week, rose 0.24 per cent to 41,230 yen on hopes for strong sales of its Switch games console.
Sony rose 0.55 per cent to 4,197 yen but rival Panasonic fell 0.30 per cent to 1,626.5 yen.
On Friday, Wall Street stocks finished little changed as investors weighed how seriously to take increasingly heated rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un.