Tokyo stocks open lower on renewed trade war worries

Tokyo stocks open lower on renewed trade war worries

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday extending losses on Wall Street over revived trade war fears.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.33 percent, or 74.27 points, to 22,197.50 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.32 percent, or 5.55 points, at 1,725.90.

With trade tensions weighing on investors, the Dow closed down 0.7 percent at 24,117.59.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he supported tougher restrictions on foreign investment in sensitive technology, as well as export controls on those goods, though he stopped short of imposing specific restrictions on China.

However, investors grew cautious after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow warned that tougher action on China was still being contemplated.

“The president is unsatisfied with their response on trade talks and so he put out there the possibility of additional tariffs,” Kudlow told reporters. “The ball is in their court.”

In Tokyo, blue-chip exporters led losses on the backdrop of worries over a trade war which “may deter a rebound in share prices after initial dips,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Konica Minolta was down 1.05 percent at 1,027 yen, chip-making equipment manufacturer Advantest was down 1.38 percent at 2,200, and industrial robot maker Fanuc fell 1.50 percent to 2,555 yen.

Oil distributor Showa Shell Sekiyu dropped 5.43 percent to 1,640 yen after reports it will merge with Idemitsu, whose shares edged up 0.25 percent to 3,999 yen.

The dollar changed hands at 110.08 yen, down from 110.27 yen in New York late Wednesday.