Tokyo stocks open lower on profit-taking

Tokyo, Dec 16 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened lower Monday, with traders taking money off the table following a 2.55-percent rally in the previous session that was fuelled by a US-China trade deal and Britain’s election.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.25 percent or 60.31 points to 23,962.79 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.06 percent or 0.97 points at 1,739.01.

“Japanese shares are seen led by profit-taking sales after US shares moved up by a very little margin,” said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

Wall Street was largely unmoved by the long-awaited US-China trade deal unveiled on Friday, which marked the end to a steady escalation in the dispute after nearly two years.

But after two big risk factors passed — the US-China trade deal and the British election — the market should rise over the longer term, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 109.37 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.35 yen in New York late Friday.

This week, investors are watching a series of global data including US factory output and housing data due on Tuesday, and China’s factory output due later Monday, said Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s press conference after a two-day policy meeting through Thursday is also in focus, he said.

In Tokyo, automakers were among the losers, with Toyota slipping 0.40 percent to 7,779 yen, Honda trading down 0.49 percent at 3,205 yen and Nissan off 0.58 percent at 676.5 yen.

Panasonic was down 0.80 percent at 1,049.5 yen and Sony was lower by 0.20 percent at 7,428 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow finished in positive territory by a hair, closing essentially flat at 28,135.38.

Asia markets end week with losses as dealers await trade progress


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