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Tokyo stocks open higher on British EU vote optimism

Tokyo stocks open higher on British EU vote optimism

TOKYO: Tokyo shares opened higher on Monday as the yen eased with speculation Britain´s upcoming referendum vote this week will result in the country staying in the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron warned Sunday of damage to Britain´s economy if it quits the EU, as rival camps competed to sway voters in a campaign shaken by the shock murder of lawmaker Jo Cox.

Ahead of the Thursday ballot, the two sides resumed an emotional, often acrimonious scramble for votes as the latest polls showed the Remain camp gaining ground after having seen support steadily erode.

“The fact that (Britain) is leaning more toward staying in the EU is leading to some relief,” Nobuyuki Fujimoto, a senior market analyst at SBI Securities, told Bloomberg News.

“But we´re lacking in catalysts to move shares, and it´s not like the vote has been decided,” he added. “Liquidity is low and the market is likely to gyrate.”

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 1.72 percent, or 226.12 points, to 15,878.78 in the first few minutes of trading, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.76 percent, or 21.96 points, to 1,272.79.

Japanese stocks slumped last week amid concern about a possible “Brexit” or British decision to leave the EU and as the Bank of Japan decided to keep monetary policy unchanged.

The yen slightly eased to 104.71 yen to the dollar in early morning trade in Tokyo, from 104.19 yen in New York late Friday.

The Japanese currency, often seen as a safe haven, had strengthened as concerns grew the “Leave” camp was headed to victory but has pulled back as Brexit momentum appeared to slow.

Japan´s finance ministry announced before the opening bell that the country logged a trade deficit of 40.72 billion yen ($389 million) in May, the first shortfall since January.

Courtesy : TheNews



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