Tokyo stocks open flat on firm yen, optimism over U.S. rate hikes

Tokyo stocks opened almost flat Thursday as the yen's firmness against the U.S. dollar offset expectations that the pace of interest rate hikes in the United States will slow.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 13.87 points, or 0.05 percent, from Wednesday to 27,408.88. The broader Topix index was up 1.82 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,982.51.

On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by precision instrument, chemical, and real estate issues. Decliners included marine transportation, pulp and paper, and oil and coal product shares.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 129.25-26 yen compared with 129.52-62 yen in New York and 130.43-45 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The euro was quoted at $1.0919-0923 and 141.13-19 yen against $1.0910-0920 and 141.37-47 yen in New York, and $1.0880-0881 and 141.91-95 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

© Kyodo News