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Tokyo stocks open higher on US rallies, cheap yen

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday with investors taking heart from rallies on Wall Street and a cheaper yen against the dollar as fears of an all-out Middle East conflict receded.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.39 percent or 322.35 points at 23,527.01 in early trade, while the broader Topix index rose 1.23 percent or 20.94 points to 1,722.34.

Japanese shares were being supported by "rallies in US shares and the yen's depreciation against the dollar" after the safe-haven currency strengthened on tension between the US and Iran, said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, in a commentary.

The dollar fetched 109.09 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.13 yen in New York and 108.43 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Sony advanced 1.16 percent to 7,749 yen, Panasonic rose 1.26 percent to 1,044.5 yen, and Toyota was up 0.69 percent at 7,679 yen.

Nissan was up 1.73 percent at 640.9 yen after its fugitive former CEO Carlos Ghosn accused the Japanese automaker and Japanese prosecutors of plotting against him, speaking at a Beirut press conference in his first public appearance since fleeing the country.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.6 percent at 28,745.09.