Tokyo stocks open higher after volatile trade

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday, after US stocks finished lower amid nagging questions about two days of wild price swings.

The benchmark Nikkei index, which fell nearly five percent on Tuesday before rebounding 0.16 percent on Wednesday, edged up 0.38 percent, or 81.24 points, to 21,726.61 in early trade.

The broader Topix index was up 0.51 percent, or 8.84 points, at 1,758.75.

“Those who led sales Wednesday afternoon were presumably foreigners, including hedge funds who had invested globally,” Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, said in a commentary.

Hedge funds had to sell Japanese stocks to minimise their losses, he said, adding that such moves are now calming down.

Japanese shares may pick up “if Japanese corporate earnings continue sound performances and if US interest rate rises stabilise within a certain range,” he said.

The dollar fetched 109.32 yen in early Asian trade, up slightly from 109.20 yen in New York.

Nissan was up 1.38 percent at 1,168 yen ahead of its earnings report later Thursday, while its smaller rival Mazda was down 0.36 percent at 1,509 yen after it said it would maintain its full-year profit forecast.

SoftBank, which on Wednesday said it has started preparations for its mobile unit’s IPO, was down 0.77 percent at 8,521 yen.

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