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Tokyo stocks open lower amid Italy, N.Korea worries

May 29 2018 07:32

Tokyo -Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, dragged down by lingering uncertainty over the prospects for a US-North Korea summit and a political crisis in Italy which is heading for fresh elections.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.32% or 71.00 points to 22 410.09 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.27% or 4.75 points at 1 765.67.

"A wait-and-see mood is likely to spread as Italian risk emerged on top of uncertainty over the prospects for the US-North Korea summit and concerns about US-China trade tensions," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

Italy was plunged into political chaos after the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League's bid to form a government collapsed.

President Sergio Mattarella on Monday named a former IMF economist as caretaker prime minister to lead the country into new elections, possibly as soon as the autumn.

While US markets were closed for a holiday, European stocks, bonds and the euro fell on Monday as investors feared the nomination of a caretaker government will only delay, but not avert, a Eurozone crisis.

The dollar inched down to ¥109.21 from ¥109.35 in Europe on Monday while the euro stayed weak, buying $1.1626 against $1.1624.

Investors largely shrugged off a Japanese government survey showing the jobless rate was flat at 2.5% in April, hovering near the lowest level in 25 years.

In individual stock trade, companies doing a large percentage of their business in Europe were weaker, with Mazda down 0.46% at ¥1 403.5.

Hitachi fell 1.07% to ¥816.8 as investors watch its negotiations with the British government over a major nuclear power project.

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