Tokyo stocks open lower weighed by rate hike fears

AFP – Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, extending falls on Wall Street over worries about higher interest rates, with investors waiting for earnings results.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.79 percent or 175.25 points to 22,102.87 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.68 percent or 12.02 points at 1,757.73.

"Following falls in US shares, Tokyo shares are seen dominated by sales before some bargain-hunting purchases emerge," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

Investors could "sit on the sidelines as the earnings season is fully in progress," it said.

Canon was down 1.15 percent at 3,852 yen ahead of its earnings report due later on Wednesday.

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron was down 0.70 percent ahead of its earnings report due later in the day.

Shares in Takeda Pharmaceutical dropped as much as 9.33 percent in early trade, after the board of Irish pharmaceutical company Shire said it would recommend a new £46 billion ($64 billion) takeover bid by Takeda.

Automakers were mixed with Toyota sliding 0.43 percent to 7,079 yen while Honda edging up 0.26 percent at 3,750 yen.

Trading firm Itochu was down 0.55 percent at 2,169.5 yen after a report by the business daily Nikkei said it would withdraw from a plan to build a nuclear power facility in Turkey due to snowballing costs of safety measures.

Kobe Steel was down 2.28 percent at 1,153 yen after the Nikkei financial daily reported that Tokyo prosecutors and police were set to investigate its data-falsifying scandal.





The dollar fetched 108.86 yen in Asian trade, against 108.65 yen in New York.

On Tuesday, Wall Street stocks tumbled on worries about higher interest rates and disappointment over US corporate earnings reports that have been not strong enough to propel the market upwards, with Dow closing 1.7 percent lower.

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