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Tokyo stocks fall as Trump drug tweet hits pharma firms

Mar 08 2017 07:42

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks slipped on Wednesday morning with pharma firms taking a hit after US President Donald Trump repeated warnings that he would move to bring down high drug prices.

Wall Street also fell after Trump said on social media that he was working on a system to boost competition in the sector - a move that could dent drug makers' profits.

Tokyo investors are cautious ahead of key US jobs data this week while an upward revision in Japanese GDP underwhelmed.

Japan's economy expanded by a revised 0.3% in the last quarter of 2016, better than an initial 0.2% growth estimate but missing market expectations for a 0.4% expansion.

"We have a lack of major reasons to trade, and Trump's tweet on the drug industry will effect pharmaceutical shares," Seiichi Miura, a strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"Overseas stock moves are limited, as are yen moves and investors are waiting for US jobs data and the Fed meeting next week."

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 97.51 points, to 19 246.64 by the lunch break, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 5.87 points, to end at 1 549.17.

Takeda Pharmaceutical shares fell 0.96% to ¥5 213, while other drug makers also dipped into negative territory.

Daiichi Sankyo slipped 0.49% to ¥2 621.5 and Shionogi was down 0.44% to sit at ¥5 554.

Automakers were down, with Toyota slipping 0.94% to ¥6 369, while Nissan fell 0.60% to ¥1 143.5 and Honda slipped 1.12% to ¥3 517.

On Asian currency markets, the dollar changed hands at ¥113.79, off ¥113.95 in New York.

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