Tokyo stocks open lower on oil price plunge


File photo: AFP

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, tracking falls on Wall Street as investor sentiment worsened on plunging oil prices.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.96 percent or 188.84 points at 19,480.28 in early trade, while the broader Topix Index fell 0.94 percent or 13.46 points to 1,418.95. 

"Japanese shares are seen led by sell orders against the backdrop of falls in the US market" which was weighed down by aftershocks of an unprecedented slump in oil prices into negative territory, said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

Nintendo was down 1.02 percent at 45,460 yen after a report said the game giant is set to increase production of its Switch game console to meet surging stay-at-home demand.

ANA Holdings was down 1.73 percent at 2,440 yen after it slashed its annual net profit forecast by 71 percent over massive falls in demand and major cancellations caused by the coronavirus spread.

Other major shares were mostly lower, with market heavyweight Fast Retailing slipping 1.61 percent to 48,940 yen, chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron dropping 2.00 percent to 22,780 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial losing 1.68 percent to 2,668.5 yen.

The dollar fetched 107.67 yen in early Asian trade, against 107.67 yen in New York late Monday.

On Wall Street, the Dow declined 2.4 percent to finish the session at 23,650.44, after the price for US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery plunged to -$37.63 a barrel.