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Tokyo stocks open lower on higher yen

Agence France-Presse

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A pedestrian looks at an electric quotation board displaying the numbers on the Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (L) and the the New York Dow (R) in Tokyo.

Tokyo stocks opened lower Tuesday, weighed down by a higher yen against the dollar and falls on Wall Street, which came under pressure from weak US data and trade worries.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.25 percent, or 293.95 points, to 23,235.55 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 1.10 percent, or 18.83 points, at 1,695.66.

“Investors disliked the drops in US shares and the yen’s appreciation,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Before Asian trade, US President Donald Trump announced he would reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminium from Argentina and Brazil, accusing the South American countries of “presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies” which he said hurt US farmers.

The comments added to worries about the US-China trade war, analysts said.

In the currency market, the dollar weakened against the yen after a fall in the US ISM Manufacturing index disappointed the market, they said.

The dollar fetched 109.04 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.96 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, major exporters were lower, with Toyota losing 1.21 percent to 7,644 yen, Nissan falling 1.39 percent to 678.7 yen, chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron dropping 1.82 percent to 22,160 yen, and Sony trading down 0.73 percent at 6,947 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 1.0 percent at 27,783.04.

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