Tokyo stocks open lower extending falls in US shares


File photo: AFP

Tokyo stocks opened lower Friday, extending falls on Wall Street following another round of poor economic data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.39 percent, or 280.44 points, at 19,913.25 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.85 percent, or 12.49 points, to 1,451.54.

"Sell-orders are seen dominating early trade in the Japanese stocks market following falls in US shares," Okasan Online Securities said.

Traders in Tokyo time were also watching for news on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's health, and reports that the Japanese government will extend a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus, Okasan senior strategist Rikiya Takebe said.

Some investors were also trading to adjust their positions ahead of the so-called Golden Week holiday through Wednesday, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 107.35 yen in early Asian trade, against 107.23 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, some blue-chip exporters were lower, with automaker Mazda trading down 3.59 percent at 590 yen, Sony off 1.77 percent at 6,809 yen and Olympus down 3.56 percent at 1,664 yen.

Japan Airlines was down 1.44 percent at 1,912 yen after it said late Thursday its annual net profit plunged nearly 65 percent to 53.4 billion yen ($500 million) due to the impact of the pandemic on aviation demand.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial was down 1.98 percent at 425.7 yen after it cut its net profit projection for the year to March by 40 percent from the previous estimate to 520 billion yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 1.2 percent at 24,345.72 after the Labor Department reported another spike in jobless claims.