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Tokyo stocks open lower as yen firms on trade war fears

Jun 22 2018 07:34

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday, extending losses in global markets amid escalating trade tensions and a stronger yen against the dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.02% or 231.15 points to 22 461.89 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.94% or 16.44 points at 1 734.19.

The European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles on Friday in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.

Global stock markets fell on Thursday hours before the EU tariffs took effect, with the Dow Jones down for an eighth straight session, closing lower by 0.8% at 24 461.70.

"Japanese shares are seen dominated by sales following declines in bourses in Europe and in the US," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

With the yen also edging higher, traders are likely to sell shares to square their positions going into the weekend, added SBI.

The dollar slipped to ¥109.94 in early Asian trade from ¥110.36 in New York late on Thursday.

In Tokyo, automakers were trading lower after luxury German carmaker Daimler cut its profit forecasts for 2018, blaming new tariffs on cars exported from the United States to China.

Honda dropped 2.11% to ¥3,337, Toyota fell 1.69% to ¥7 271 and Nissan lost 0.64% to ¥1 022.

Steelmakers were also lower - despite an announcement of a partial exemption for Japanese-made steel products from US tariffs earlier this week - with JFE dropping 1.68% to ¥2 096 and Nippon Steel down 0.91% at ¥2 146.

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equities  |  tokyo stocks  |  currencies
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