Tokyo Stocks Open Lower with Steelmakers Falling
Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday with steelmakers and other exporters falling amid lingering worries of a trade war.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.43 percent or 90.51 points to 21,091.13 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.44 percent or 7.58 points at 1,700.76.
Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher Friday as bargain hunting of technology shares offset worries of a trade war after President Donald Trump vowed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium and many other goods.
The dollar stayed weak against the yen and euro after tumbling on Friday.
A lower greenback has been positive for US stock markets but not necessarily so for other markets, said Makoto Noji, chief currency strategist at SMBC Nikko.
“Market players will pay the keenest attention to how stocks will move in Japan and Europe from now as it is easily assumed that their stronger currencies would worsen corporate earnings," he said in a commentary.
"Global risk aversion will grow if Japanese and European stocks fall and invite drops in US markets,” he said.
In Tokyo trade, steelmakers kept falling after plunges on Friday.
Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal lost 1.40 percent to 2,387 yen and JFE Holdings was off 1.77 percent at 2,303 yen.
Kobe Steel sank 0.35 percent to 1,122 yen after weekend reports that its chief executive was considering stepping down after a quality data-faking scandal.
A stronger yen was also weighing on exporters, with Toyota down 0.82 percent at 6,859 yen and Nintendo dropping 1.15 percent to 48,040 yen. The dollar was trading at 105.54 yen on Monday against 105.73 yen in New York Friday.
The euro was buying USD1.2312 against USD1.2300 on Friday as exit polls showed media mogul Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing coalition was set to win the most votes but could fall short of a majority in Italy's election on Sunday. (AFP)