Tokyo stocks open up 0.99%

Tokyo stocks opened 0.99 percent higher on Thursday following gains on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve held steady on its policy of economic stimulus.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 123.77 points to 12,592.00 at the start.

The Nikkei is likely to rise on expectations for aggressive easing steps by the Bank of Japan under the new governor's leadership, said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities.

"The US easing stance will remain intact for a while and the BoJ will embark on anti-deflation measures," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Focus is on what the new BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who took office on Wednesday, has to say at a press conference set for later Thursday, he said.

Tokyo markets were closed Wednesday for a public holiday.

As stock trading resumed Thursday, the Tokyo market largely discounted government data that showed Japan fell into a trade deficit of 777.5 billion yen ($8.1 billion) in February against the year-before surplus of 25.8 billion yen.

The euro rebounded modestly Wednesday after sharp losses caused by the Cyprus bailout drama, and held onto gains late in the day as the Federal Reserve stuck firmly to its easing policies.

The euro bought $1.2929 and 124.24 yen in early Asian trade Thursday, compared with $1.2937 and 124.17 yen.

The dollar fetched 96.06 yen against 95.98 yen.

US stocks recorded solid gains Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.39 percent to 14,511.73.