Tokyo stocks open lower on trade war worries

Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Thursday – Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday, tracking falls on Wall Street on rising worries that US President Donald Trump administration’s policies could ignite a global trade war.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.44 percent, or 94.82 points, to 21,682.47 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.41 percent, or 7.20 points, to 1,736.01.

"Falls in the US stocks market and a higher yen is likely prompting the sale of Japanese shares," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

"Japanese shares will likely continue to be affected by the Trump administration’s moves as he is expected to strengthen its protectionist policies ahead of mid-term elections" later this year, it noted.

The dollar fetched 106.14 yen in early Asian trade, down from 106.32 yen in New York and 106.56 yen in Tokyo Wednesday.

The US announced Wednesday it was taking action at the World Trade Organization against Indian export subsidies.

The move comes as the White House is also considering slapping tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports, particularly in the tech and telecommunications sector, in response to alleged improper practices involving American intellectual property.

Wall Street shares dropped on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing down 1.0 percent at 24,758.12, its third straight decline.

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