Tokyo stocks open higher with improved sentiment

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened higher on Monday as investors refocused on sound corporate earnings helped by optimism about trade, but there were still lingering concerns about issues including Italian politics.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.17%, or 37.51 points, at 21 717.85 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.11%, or 1.77 points, at 1 631.07.

Investors in Tokyo appeared to take heart from hopeful comments on trade from US President Donald Trump last week "to buy shares in companies with brisk earnings", said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities.

However, worries over the Italian budget persisted, Nomaguchi added, noting "if Italy keeps refusing to accept the EU's proposal on the budget, Italian long-term rates could rise and destabilise the financial market".

Investors are also watching US housing starts data due on Tuesday and data on Wednesday on the number of foreign tourists in Japan for further clues, he added.

The dollar fetched ¥112.78 in early Asian trade, against ¥112.88 in New York on Friday.

In Tokyo, game titan Nintendo was up 2.45% at ¥32 640 and telecom giant SoftBank was up 3.93% at ¥9 148.

Toyota edged up 0.38% to ¥6 616 and Sony rose 1.32% to ¥5 765.

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