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Tokyo stocks 0.61% higher at start, Nikkei 225 gains 32.30pts

Tokyo stocks 0.61% higher at start, Nikkei 225 gains 32.30pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks have opened 0.16 per cent higher as the US dollar holds firm against the yen on speculation the US Federal Reserve could move more quickly to raise interest rates.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo STOCK EXCHANGE gained 32.30 points to 19,745.75 at the start on Wednesday.

The dollar was firm early Wednesday as positive US economic data strengthened the case for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in the coming months.

The dollar bought Y119.78, compared with Y119.77 yen in New York late on Tuesday.

The euro bought $US1.0913 and Y130.69 compared with $US1.0919 and Y130.78 in US trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.58 per cent after positive economic figures fuelled speculation the Fed could move sooner to lift interest rates.

US data on Tuesday showed sales of new single-family homes surged in February to a seven-year high, while consumer prices rose for the first time in four months.