Tokyo stocks were higher Tuesday morning as investor sentiment was supported by overnight gains in European markets, while traders closely watched a potential policy response by the Bank of Japan over signs of inflation.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 240.63 points, or 0.85 percent, from Monday to 28,574.15. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 10.37 points, or 0.52 percent, at 1,997.08.
Gainers were led by mining, precision instrument and service issues.
The U.S. dollar was firm in the upper-114 yen range as investors sold the Japanese unit, seen as a safe-haven asset, after stocks rose in major European markets, including London and Frankfurt, dealers said.
At noon, the dollar fetched 114.74-77 yen compared with 114.55-65 yen in London at 4 p.m. and 114.40-41 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday. U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.
The euro was quoted at $1.1416-1420 and 131.00-07 yen against $1.1400-1410 and 130.65-70 yen in London and $1.1424-1425 and 130.69-73 yen in Tokyo late Monday afternoon.
Tokyo stocks opened in positive territory as advances in Toyota Motor and blue chip Fast Retailing supported the market.
However, many investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the release of the outcome of the BOJ's two-day policy meeting and a press conference by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda scheduled later in the day, brokers said.
Just after the morning session in Tokyo, the central bank said it had decided to maintain its ultraloose monetary policy, and that it had revised upward its fiscal 2022 inflation forecast to 1.1 percent from its earlier estimate of 0.9 percent.
Market participants had been focusing on a possible response by the BOJ to the budding signs of inflation in Japan propelled by higher energy prices and a weak yen.
"Investors were well aware that policy change is unlikely at the moment, but they were looking for signs that the BOJ may make a change in the future," said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute.
On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,224 to 832, while 126 ended the morning unchanged.
Toyota Motor rose 23.5 yen, or 1.0 percent, to 2,446.5 yen as the company's development of electric vehicles is likely to support investor sentiment.
Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing chain, jumped 2,390 yen, or 3.7 percent, to 67,490 yen.
Mizuho Financial Group rose 19.0 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 1,620.5 yen after it announced Monday that it has appointed Senior Executive Officer Masahiro Kihara as president following repeated system failures at its banking unit.
Pharmaceutical company Shionogi jumped 25 yen, or 0.3 percent, to 7,505 yen a day after saying it had started a new clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine.
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