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Tokyo stocks open up 0.38%

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks opened 0.38 percent higher on Friday after US shares gained ground on improved jobs data.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 52.90 points to 13,978.98 at the start of the session.

"Market momentum and foreign investor interest remain strong, and with the yen looking slightly weaker, the Nikkei has a chance to test 14,000," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

However, other traders said investors may close positions ahead of the holiday-studded "Golden Week" in Japan which will see markets closed on Monday and Friday next week.

The Bank of Japan is to hold a policy meeting ahead of the three-day weekend although many market players believe it is unlikely the central bank will make major decisions after this month's huge stimulus measures.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 24.50 or 0.17 percent to 14,700.80 on Thursday after a volatile trading session following improved jobless claims data and a mixed bag of corporate earnings.

The dollar also edged up Thursday after a US statement that Syrian forces may have used chemical weapons on rebels.

The euro bought $1.2999 and 129.13 yen in early Asian trade Friday compared with $1.3009 and 129.16 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The dollar was at 99.34 yen against 99.29 yen in US trade.

Currency rates hardly moved after official data showed Japan's consumer prices fell 0.5 percent year-on-year in March, underlining the tough task the government faces to pull the economy out of 15 years of deflation.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130425/tokyo-stocks-open-038