Tokyo shares firm with eyes on US Fed

Tokyo shares opened higher Thursday after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting showed that US central bankers are determined to fight inflation despite recession worries.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.69 percent, or 179.41 points, to 26,287.06 in early trade, while the broader Topix index advanced 0.76 percent, or 11.15 points, at 1,867.12.

The dollar was at 135.86 yen, compared with 135.93 yen on Wednesday in New York.

Tokyo shares enjoyed an upward swing after Wall Street stocks ended higher, taking cues from the Fed minutes, in which officials said a "more restrictive stance" could "be appropriate if elevated inflation pressures were to persist", even at the risk of slowing growth.

The minutes suggested that "the July rates decision is about 50 or 75 basis points", as policymakers work to control soaring inflation, Ray Attrill of National Australia Bank said in a note.

The message was expected, but delicate work to balance slowdown risks and fight inflation still lie ahead, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

"So, stocks are bouncing higher with the global market backdrop not quite as gloomy as Tuesday; for markets, the most significant challenge right now is to break out of this negative feedback loop with recession risk and stubbornly hawkish Fed prices cratering the runway," he wrote in a note.

The Tokyo market benefited from the overnight gains on Wall Street, but some investors might refrain from making major moves ahead of a national election this weekend, Okasan Online Securities wrote in a note.

Major growth stocks in Japan have been rebounding "and it should fuel more optimism for Tokyo shares and provide support", Okasan added.

In Tokyo trade, auto and real estate-related shares surged. Toyota rose 0.75 percent to 2,073.5 yen. Honda advanced 0.79 percent to 3,186 yen. Nissan trimmed earlier gains but was still up 0.37 percent to 492.6 yen.

Mitsubishi Estate Company added 1.68 percent to 1,931.5 yen. Nomura Real Estate Holdings rose 1.11 percent to 3,195 yen.

Sony Group rose 1.20 percent to 10,960 yen. SoftBank Group added 0.73 percent to 5,382 yen. Industrial robot maker Fanuc advanced 1.59 percent to 21,425 yen.