Tokyo stocks open up 0.12 percent

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened 0.12 percent higher Friday as the dollar was firm on hopes for solid US jobs data later in the day while Nintendo soared seven percent on better-than expected earnings.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 23.64 points to 19,315.63 at the start.

Shares in Nintendo shot up 7.4 percent to 21,200.0 yen in the first few minutes of trade as the videogame giant announced better-than-expected full-year earnings late Thursday.

The dollar stayed firm early Friday after rising on a positive US jobless claims report, buying 119.72 yen compared with 119.75 yen in New York late Thursday.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases profits when repatriated.

On Thursday, the weekly US unemployment claims report came in strongly positive, with the moving average falling to a 15-year low.

Markets were geared up for the Labor Department´s jobs report Friday to gauge whether the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin raising ultra-low interest rates.

The euro slipped to $1.1249 and 134.69 yen on Friday, down from $1.1266 and 134.91 yen in US trade.

The British pound jumped after exit polls suggested a surprise lead for Prime Minister David Cameron´s Conservatives.

Sterling rose to $1.5425 in Asia early Friday, up from $1.5262 in New York on Thursday.