Tokyo stocks open modestly higher in subdued trade

Tokyo, Nov 15 (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks opened fractionally higher on Friday with weak global economic data and lingering uncertainty over the direction of US-China trade talks weighing on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.08 percent or 17.56 points to 23,159.11 in early trade, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.16 percent or 2.66 points to 1,687.06.

“The latest downshift in global macro data is providing a not-so-subtle reminder of the pernicious effect the protracted US-China trade war is having on the worldwide economy,” Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a client note.

“The latest activity, employment, and growth data out of China, Australia, and Japan are suggesting the tariff knock-on effect is worse than expected as economic conditions refuse to adjust to trend,” added the analyst.

Trade war leaves both US and China worse off: UN economists

“And despite the deluge of central bank easing, business investment is not responding as expected,” he said.

The dollar fetched 108.50 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.42 yen in New York and 108.71 yen in Tokyo late Thursday.

Japanese stocks trade “lacks a clear sense of direction”, with concerns over US-China trade talks hampering the market, Mizuho Securities said in a commentary.

Japan Post rose 2.19 percent to 1,024.5 yen after reporting second-quarter profits up 1.4 percent year-on-year.

Game giant Nintendo slipped 0.76 percent to 41,470 yen, market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was down 0.32 percent at 67,220 yen, while IT and investment giant SoftBank Group dropped 0.74 percent to 4,257 yen.

Mizuho Financial dipped 0.88 percent to 168.7 yen after it said its net profit for the July-September quarter dropped 37 percent.

Its bigger rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial was also down 0.60 percent at 3,952 yen.

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