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Tokyo stocks open up 0.50%

Tokyo stocks opened 0.50 percent higher on Thursday after the dollar jumped against the yen on speculation that the US central bank may raise interest rates earlier than expected.

The Nikkei 225 index was up 76.53 points at 15,530.98 at the start.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.35 percent at 16,979.13 on Wednesday as US Federal Reserve minutes showed rising debate over recent improvements in the jobs market.

The dollar was at 103.69 yen in early Asian trade, slightly down from 103.76 yen in New York late Wednesday but up from 103.23 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad and inflates profits when repatriated.

The euro fetched $1.3259 and 137.50 yen Thursday against $1.3258 and 137.57 yen in US trade.

The dollar got a boost Wednesday as the Federal Reserve released minutes from its July 29-30 meeting.

They showed policy makers increasingly at odds over how strong the US labour market is and what that means for inflation -- a key issue in planning rate hikes next year.

The intensifying debate signalled an increased, albeit still measured, level of hawkish sentiment in the Fed that could speed up any rate hike.