Tokyo stocks close lower on investor jitters over trade row

Tokyo stocks close lower on investor jitters over trade row
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Tokyo: Tokyo stocks gave up early gains and closed lower on Tuesday, dragged down by continued falls on Chinese markets amid trade frictions with the United States.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.12 percent, or 26.39 points, to 21,785.54 while the broader Topix index was down 0.15 percent, or 2.49 points, at 1,692.80.

Tokyo stocks got off to a firm start on the back of gains on Wall Street and the yen’s downtrend against the dollar.

But then selling prevailed with Chinese markets tumbling again as investors fret over looming US-China trade tariffs that bring a potential trade war a step closer.

“Chinese stocks continued to lose ground as caution over trade tensions with the United States remains strong,” said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

The dollar remained firm against the yen, changing hands at 110.97 yen against 110.86 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

“The US economy, the world’s biggest, stays solid, which is a positive factor in itself,” said Sengoku.

“But it is difficult to focus on that… As drops in Chinese stocks show few signs of coming to a halt, investors are discouraged,” he told AFP.

Heavy selling hit companies whose earnings are closely linked to China’s economy.

Shipping company NYK Line lost 1.24 percent to 2,135 yen and its smaller rival Kawasaki Kisen plunged 2.94 percent to 1,947 yen.

Factory automation systems maker Fanuc fell 0.69 percent to 21,485 yen.

Sony rose 0.51 percent to 5,624 yen and Nintendo climbed 1.90 percent to 36,430 yen.

AFP