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Tokyo stocks follow Wall Street higher

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, following rallies on Wall Street as investor sentiment improved but trade is seen to be cautious ahead of a long weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.83 percent or 167.24 points at 20,331.04 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 0.79 percent or 12.07 points at 1,534.08.

"Japanese shares are seen performing in a steady manner in early trade, tracking rises in US shares, but profit-taking sales ahead of a three-day weekend could cap the upward movement later," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Tokyo markets will be closed on Monday for the coming-of-age public holiday.

The dollar changed hands at 108.32 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.17 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 3.30 percent at 53,780 yen after the company said its sales in December jumped 5.2 percent on-year.

Nissan was up 0.83 percent at 905.3 yen as its ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn is widely expected to face additional charges later Friday after his shock arrest in November.

Rival automakers were also higher, with Toyota up 1.17 percent at 6,783 yen and Honda up 1.29 percent at 3,135 yen.

Yasukawa Electric, a leading manufacturer of motors and industrial robots, gained 3.21 percent to 2,727 yen after it reported record third-quarter profits and sales.

Investors largely shrugged off household spending data released before the opening bell, which said spending in November slipped 0.6 percent from a year earlier.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.5 percent at 24,001.92.