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Tokyo stocks open lower after Wall Street rout

Nov 21 2018 07:52
AFP

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, weighed down by a sharp fall in US stocks as fears over weakness in the technology sector spread throughout the wider market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.49% or 321.46 points at 21 261.66 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 1.58% or 25.67 points at 1 600.06.

"Global equity futures were flashing red on tech sector concerns," Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in a note.

He cited fears over trade tensions following an acrimonious exchange between China and the US at a recent summit of Asia-Pacific leaders and comments from the Federal Reserve that Trump administration fiscal stimulus will fade in 2019.

"There was no place to go but down for equities," said Innes.

"Also, investors are deeply concerned that technology could be the US administration's new battleground," with officials reportedly laying the groundwork for technology sector trade controls, noted the analyst.

The dollar fetched ¥112.75 in early Asian trade, barely changed compared to its level in New York late on Tuesday.

In Tokyo, blue-chip exporters were broadly down, with Sony trading down 2.31% at ¥5 577 and Panasonic off 1.80% at ¥1 089.

Automakers were also among the losers, with Toyota losing 1.19% to ¥6 637 and Honda down 0.85% at ¥3 139.

Crisis-hit Nissan bucked the trend, up 0.38% at ¥954.4 after plunging 5.45% the previous session following chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest.

Fellow auto alliance firm Mitsubishi Motors was down 1.32% at ¥671 after a 6.84% dive the previous day.

The Japanese daily Asahi reported on Wednesday that Tokyo prosecutors are set to charge Nissan over falsified financial reports linked to Ghosn's arrest over alleged under-reporting of his pay at Nissan.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 2.2% at 24 465.64.

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