Tokyo stocks open marginally higher on earnings

Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher on Thursday helped by sound corporate earnings results and a lull in the yen’s appreciation against the dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.08 percent, or 22.34 points, at 27,606.42 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.08 percent, or 1.63 points, to 1,923.06.

“Trade is seen lacking a clear sense of direction … with the rise in coronavirus cases in Japan weighing on the market, as earnings season continues,” said Okasan Online Securities in a note.

The market was finding support from bargain-hunting for shares with solid earnings reports and a halt in the slide of the dollar-yen rate, it added.

The dollar fetched 109.58 yen in early Asian trade, up from 109.48 yen in New York and 108.98 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Among individual names, Sony climbed 0.99 percent to 11,185 yen after it reported a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit.

Telecom operator SoftBank Corp was up 0.83 percent at 1,462 yen after it reported an operating profit mostly in line with market expectations.

Rakuten soared 8.06 percent to 1,354 yen after it announced a business partnership with Germany-based 1&1 over a mobile network.

The Japanese business daily Nikkei reported the deal involves sales of Rakuten’s low-cost 5G technology to the German company with a price tag of 250 billion yen ($2.3 billion).

Honda was up 1.24 percent at 3,591 yen after the carmaker said it has upgraded its full-year forecast as it returned to the black in the first quarter.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.9 percent at 34,792.67 and the broad-based S&P was off 0.5 percent while the tech-rich Nasdaq edged up 0.1 percent.