Tokyo stocks open lower on global economy jitters

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday in cautious trade amid a lingering sense of uncertainty over the outlook for the global economy and a lack of fresh trading clues.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.57 percent or 117.38 points at 20,476.34 in early trade, while the broader Topix index fell 0.55 percent or 8.54 points at 1,538.49.

As the Tokyo market rallied late in the day on Wednesday, a positive session on Wall Street “may not provide much support” to Japanese stocks, said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex.

Trading volume remained thin, suggesting investors were taking a wait-and-see attitude amid a set of worries including the US government shutdown and Brexit deadlock, and ahead of the Japanese corporate earnings season next week, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 109.55 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.58 yen in New York late Wednesday.

In Tokyo, marine transport firms were among the losers, with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines off 0.91 percent at 2,606 yen and Nippon Yusen down 0.66 percent at 1,800 yen.

Oil refiners were also lower, with JXTG down 1.19 percent at 5,605 yen and Idemitsu Kosan lower by 0.39 percent at 3,770 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow finished up 0.7 percent at 24,575.62, helped by strong earnings reports.