Tokyo shares open 0.53% higher

Tokyo stocks opened 0.53 percent higher on Thursday, with expectations for further monetary easing lifting the dollar against the yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 56.54 points to 10,635.11 at the start.

"Expectations for the administration led by Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe persist," Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity division at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"A weaker yen will likely boost Japanese corporate earnings," he said.

The dollar gained to 88.06 yen in early Asian trade, compared with 87.86 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon and from 87.43 yen a day earlier in Tokyo.

The euro also rose to 114.97 yen from 114.77 in US trade while easing to $1.3052 from $1.3061.

Abe on Wednesday reiterated his call for Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa to introduce a two percent inflation target, ahead of the central bank's policy board meeting later this month.

Abe, who won December's general election, pledged to beat the nation's chronic deflation during his campaign, urging the BoJ to aggressively ease monetary policy.

US stocks reversed two days of losses to close higher Wednesday amid caution as investors await fourth-quarter earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 61.66 points (0.46 percent) at 13,390.51.

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