Singapore Markets closed

Tokyo shares up 0.35% by break

Tokyo shares rose 0.35 percent Tuesday morning after the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a fresh record for the fifth straight day, while the dollar advanced further against the yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 42.79 points to end the morning session at 12,391.84, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was 0.42 percent higher, or 4.41 points, to 1,044.39.

"As illustrated by US bourse movements, investors continue to show a healthy appetite for equities abroad, which creates an encouraging environment for Japanese stocks," says SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.35 percent higher at 14,447.29 at the close.

Tokyo was also lifted by the dollar strengthening to 96.58 yen, from 96.26 yen in New York Monday, while the euro also gained to 125.85 yen from 125.59 yen.

Pressure on the yen was stoked by speculation that the team nominated to take over at the Bank of Japan will launch fresh easing measures.

Among major shares, Sony added 0.93 percent to 1,522 yen, Toyota added 0.20 percent to 5,010 yen and banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.05 percent to 575 yen.

Dollar-buying sentiment is expected to remain strong, supported by improving US economic data including better-than-expected jobs figures, said Daisaku Ueno, senior foreign exchange strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley.

Friday's strong US jobs data "changed the picture for the dollar/yen" and "expectations of US economic recovery are strong", Ueno told Dow Jones Newswires.

The US Labor Department reported that the economy generated a net 236,000 new jobs in February, far more than expected and pulling the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.

Investors will be looking to another string of US releases this week, including retail sales, industrial production, and weekly jobless claims, Ueno said.