Tokyo stocks open 0.39% higher
A Tokyo Stock Exchange staff looks at an electronic stock quotation board at the bourse as he works at TSE - REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO, Japan: Tokyo stocks opened 0.39 percent higher on Tuesday as traders await the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy announcement later in the day.

The Nikkei-225 index was up 59.33 points to 15,179.47 at start.

Overnight US markets were modestly weaker on worries over Chinese exports, while ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia continue to pressure stocks.

Global markets lost ground on Monday after China reported weak inflation data and a $23.0 billion trade deficit in February, while analysts had forecast an $11.9 billion surplus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 34.04 points, or 0.21 percent, to 16,418.68.

Investors are now eyeing the Bank of Japan’s policy-setting meeting, which will wrap up on Tuesday, for signs of further monetary easing measures.

There is also growing concern that a sales tax increase next month will derail Japan’s economic recovery by weighing on consumer spending — and force the BoJ to act.

“All eyes are on the Bank of Japan, but even though it isn’t expected to say much, there are enough uncertainties to keep investors on the sidelines for the time being,” Junichi Wako, equity market strategist at Nomura Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires, noting overall trading volume hit a four-month low Monday.

The dollar was quoted at 103.30 yen, up from 103.26 yen in New York Monday.

The euro fetched $1.3870 and 143.32, against $1.3875 and 143.28 yen.

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