Tokyo stocks opened higher Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested slowing the pace of interest rate hikes, easing concerns over the U.S. economy, while the U.S. dollar slid to a three-month low versus the yen.
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 396.72 points, or 1.42 percent, from Wednesday to 28,365.71. The broader Topix index was up 11.17 points, or 0.56 percent, at 1,996.74.
On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by marine transportation, electric appliance, and pulp and paper issues.
The dollar fell against the yen in Tokyo after Powell's remarks, sliding into the lower 137 yen range.
At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 137.34-39 yen compared with 138.06-16 yen in New York and 138.52-54 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The euro was quoted at $1.0421-0425 and 143.12-23 yen against $1.0404-0414 and 143.69-79 yen in New York and $1.0352-0353 and 143.40-44 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.