Tokyo stocks open lower on US falls

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.20 per cent or 46.97 points to 23,428.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.07 per cent or 1.19 points to 1,643.16. — AFP pic
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.20 per cent or 46.97 points to 23,428.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.07 per cent or 1.19 points to 1,643.16. — AFP pic

TOKYO, Sept 17 — Tokyo stocks opened lower today to track falls on US high-tech shares, a day after Japan’s parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as the country’s new prime minister.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.20 per cent or 46.97 points to 23,428.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.07 per cent or 1.19 points to 1,643.16.

“Japanese shares are seen starting with declines due to falls in US high-tech shares, then could bottom out on expectations that the new Suga administration will continue Abe’s policies,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Along with maintaining monetary easing, “how seriously the new government will tackle regulatory reforms and develop growth is key,” it said, referring to long-desired structural reforms to boost the country’s productivity.

Suga late yesterday officially launched his new administration, pledging to keep coronavirus infections under control and kickstart an economy in recession, as Shinzo Abe left office after a record-breaking tenure.

The dollar fetched ¥105.00 (RM4.14) in early Asian trade, against ¥104.92 in New York late yesterday.

In Tokyo, Hitachi was down 0.13 per cent after scrapped its multi-billion-pound nuclear plant project in the UK in face of the deteriorating investment environment.

Sony was down 0.23 per cent at ¥8,191 after it said its PlayStation 5 game console will launch in November with a price tag of US$500 for the premium PS5, and US$400 for a “digital edition” designed for the trend of games being downloaded from the cloud.

Sony’s rival Nintendo was down 1.04 per cent at ¥59,210 after its president said the company plans to release new Switch games while extending the console’s life cycle.

Among other shares, Honda was down 0.57 per cent at ¥2,614.5, Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was off 0.46 per cent at ¥65,210, while Takeda Pharmaceutical was up 0.71 per cent at ¥3,985.

Investors were also paying attention to the Bank of Japan’s policy decision later in the day, which is widely expected to keep the current easing programme, and central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s first press conference after the launch of the Suga administration.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 per cent to close at 28,032.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 1.3 per cent and the broader S&P slipped 0.5 per cent. — AFP

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