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Tokyo stocks open lower on worries over growth

Dec 05 2018 09:01

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, following a plunge on Wall Street on worries about US economic growth and with investors cautious ahead of key US jobs data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.25% or 274.82 points at 21 761.23 in early trade, while the broader Topix index fell 1.36% or 22.41 points at 1 626.79.

Japanese shares were also weighed down by a stronger yen against the dollar, which traded at ¥112.69 in early Asian trade, against ¥112.78 in New York and ¥113.15 in Tokyo late on Tuesday.

Tokyo stocks were seen "heavily sold following a dive in US shares... but the focus is on whether share prices will stop falling" during Wednesday's session, said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex.

Wall Street stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday as the yield curve -- the gap between the yields of long-term and short-term bonds -- narrowed, hinting at a slowing US economy.

"It's not just about the yield curve though," said Ray Attrill, strategist at National Australia Bank.

There are also "doubts about whether the Trump-Xi handshake and agreed 90-day moratorium on further tariff action was anything more than just that," he said, referring to the China-US summit that sent global shares skyrocketing on Monday.

In Tokyo, China-related shares were lower, with industrial robot maker Fanuc dropping 2.39%t to ¥18 145 and electronic parts maker Rohm down 1.84% at ¥8 000.

Banks were also lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ off 1.49% at ¥607.1, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial down 0.43% at ¥4 087 and Mizuho Financial down 0.91% at ¥184.2.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 3.1% at 25 027.07.

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