TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday tracking falls in US shares, with investors focusing on corporate earnings reports.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.19 percent or 39.11 points at 20,834.95 in early trade while the broader Topix index slipped 0.24 percent or 3.78 points to 1,578.35.
“Following declines in US shares, selling is seen dominating trade in early hours,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
Given earnings reports expected during Tokyo hours, trading could see “volatile moves” later in the session, added Okasan.
US shares ended down after a batch of mixed earnings, with President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night having little effect on stocks.
The dollar fetched 109.86 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.97 yen in New York.
In Tokyo, automakers were among losers, with Toyota falling 2.02 percent to 6,567 yen, Honda off 0.62 percent at 3,016 yen and Nissan down 0.56 percent at 925 yen.
Automakers were lower due partly to “concerns over the US-China trade war” and the risk of a wider global economic slowdown, said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities in a note.
Concerns that Japanese carmakers are lagging behind their global competitors in the shift to electric vehicles from hybrid cars is also impacting stock, added Kubota.
The biggest gainer on the main Tokyo market was SoftBank Group, which shot up 10.10 percent to 9,317 yen after it announced a huge buyback of its shares.
© Agence France-Presse