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Tokyo stocks open lower with eyes on trade, central banks

AFP – Tokyo stocks opened fractionally lower on Monday, tracking falls on Wall Street, with investors’ eyes on the US-China trade war and key central bank meetings this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.06 percent or 12.64 points to 21,104.25 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.24 percent or 3.75 points at 1,542.96.

The US Trade Representative’s public hearings on President Donald Trump’s plans to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese-made goods will start on Monday, noted Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"It’s worth watching if there is any impact from the US-China trade war on the Japanese trade statistics due on Wednesday," he added.

Investors are closely watching the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting from Tuesday through Wednesday, and "if the Fed’s view on the economy is hawkish enough to remove market expectations of a rate cut, that would send stocks prices down," Nomaguchi said.

The Bank of Japan’s two-day meeting through Thursday will be also monitored as it may affect the dollar-yen rate, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 108.56 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.55 yen in New York on Friday.

In Tokyo, chip-linked shares were lower after the US chip sector declined, with chip-testing equipment maker Advantest dropping 4.64 percent to 2,848 yen and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron diving 4.06 percent to 14,-35 yen.

Some electronics were among the losers, with Sharp trading down 2.80 percent at 1,051 yen and electronics parts maker Rohm off 1.60 percent at 6,730 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.3 percent at 26,042.11.





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