Tokyo stocks opened 0.76 per cent higher on Thursday after the dollar gained against the yen on stronger-than-expected US retail sales figures. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 92.50 points at 12,332.16 at the start. The benchmark index is likely to be supported by the stronger dollar, which rose after the Tokyo market closed on Wednesday, hitting the 96-yen mark, brokers said. A weak yen boosts Japanese exporters. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new record closing level for the seventh straight day Wednesday as US stocks registered small gains on the solid US retail numbers. The Dow added 5.22 points (0.04 per cent) at 14,455.28, also its ninth straight day of gains, its longest winning streak in 16 years. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.04 (0.13 per cent) at 1,554.52. The dollar was changing hands at 96.03 yen in early Asian trade Thursday, down from 96.14 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon but still up from 95.81 yen early Wednesday in Tokyo. The euro bought $1.2960 and 124.48 against $1.2956 and 124.56 yen in US trade. \"The overall environment for equities investing remains bullish,\" said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi. He said the stock market was also gaining support on hopes for further monetary easing steps, with new Bank of Japan leadership -- a governor and two deputies -- expected to be confirmed in parliament this week. \"Confirmation of all of the government\'s BoJ nominees will send a positive signal that looser central bank policy monetary policy will be a certainty,\" Nishi said. All the three nominees are advocates of active monetary easing to get Japan out of years of deflation.