Tokyo stocks close lower on higher yen

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday as a higher yen weighed on the market, reflecting worries over escalating trade tensions.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.78 percent or 176.21 points to 22,516.83. Over the week, the index fell 1.47 percent.

The broader Topix index fell 0.33 percent or 5.80 points to end at 1,744.83. Over the week, it dropped 2.47 percent.

The European Union slapped retaliatory tariffs on 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 Thursday hours before the EU tariffs took effect, with the Dow Jones down for an eighth straight session, closing lower by 0.8 percent at 24,461.70.

“In addition to worries over a trade war involving the US, the worsening US manufacturing index also had a negative impact on the market,” SBI Securities said in a commentary.

Looking ahead, Japanese shares could pick up, shrugging off “the Trump theatre” and focusing on prospects for sound corporate earnings next month, Mutsumi Kagawa, strategist at Rakuten Securities, said in a commentary.

The dollar slipped to 109.96 yen in Asian trade from 110.36 yen in New York late 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 lost 1.96 percent to 3,342 yen and Toyota dropped 2.66 percent ot 7,199 yen.

Steelmakers however rebounded from negative territory in earlier trade, with JFE closing up 0.14 percent at 2,135 yen and Nippon Steel ending up 0.09 percent at 2,169 yen, in apparent bargain-hunting purchases, after a losing streak of nearly a week.