TOKYO: Tokyo stocks climbed 1.44 percent Tuesday morning thanks to a weak yen, while also tracking a rise in New York and Europe on hopes Greece’s new anti-austerity government will thrash out a new bailout deal with its international creditors.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 250.90 points to 17,719.42 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 1.23 percent, or 17.22 points, to 1,419.30.
Victory for the far left Syriza party in Sunday’s general elections initially sparked fears Athens will refuse to stick to its bailout obligations and eventually leave the euro zone.
The group had campaigned on renegotiating terms of the lifeline, which include swingeing spending cuts and painful tax hikes.
However, while talks between new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ party and its creditors the IMF and EU are expected to be tough, analysts say Greece will likely remain in the 19 nation currency bloc.
“Greece must choose either austerity or leaving the euro, but its people don’t want a euro exit,” Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities, told Bloomberg News.
“We may see a compromise on extending the duration of the debt.”
In Tokyo Forex trading, the euro ticked up to $1.1251, from $1.1234 in New York. It briefly fell to $1.1098 in Asia on Monday its lowest level since September 2003.
The dollar was at 118.21 yen, down from 118.49 yen in US trade, but still above the 117.90 yen seen in Tokyo earlier Monday.
Shares of major Japanese exporters rose, with Toyota adding 1.06 percent to 7,807.0 yen, Sony up 1.07 percent at 2,784.0 yen and Canon gaining 1.04 percent to 3,925.0 yen.
Marubeni dropped 1.37 percent to 662.0 yen after the trading giant cut its annual profit forecast and said it was taking $1.0 billion write down, partly owing to the plunge in crude prices.
Wall Street managed to remain in positive territory on Monday, helped by some positive quarterly earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.03 percent, the broader S&P 500 added 0.26 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.29 percent.