Tokyo stocks open lower on yen, Wall St losses

 21 Dec 2015 - 8:15

Tokyo stocks open lower on yen, Wall St losses

Tokyo:Tokyo stocks opened modestly lower as a stronger yen took a bite out of exporters Monday, as investors await US and Japanese economic figures later this week for trading cues.

Wall Street finished sharply down Friday due in part to worries about falling oil prices, which slumped to fresh multi-year lows, weighing on petroleum and commodity-linked stocks.

"In the US, worries over deteriorating earnings in the energy sector seem to be spreading to other areas, such as Disney and Apple," Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co, told Bloomberg News.

"If those concerns continue expanding, we could see it impact Japanese stocks, including potentially Apple's suppliers in Japan."

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 0.74 percent, or 141.30 points, to 18,845.50 in opening deals, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares opened down 0.69 percent, or 10.68 points, at 1,526.42.

The Bank of Japan on Friday announced surprise tweaks to its huge stimulus programme, jolting financial markets and pushing the yen into a brief dive, as Japan's economy struggles to mount a recovery.

The decision came days after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade on the back of a firm recovery in the US economy.

Investors are keenly awaiting some key US data, including economic growth figures and US existing-home sales, after the Fed rate move boosted hopes the world's top economy was back on track.

In Japan, markets will be looking at inflation, jobs and spending data scheduled for release on Friday.

The Fed's long-awaited decision has spurred greater volatility, analysts said, resulting in big rallies on Tuesday and Wednesday that were reversed the subsequent two days.

The Dow tumbled 2.10 percent on Friday, while the S&P 500 fell 1.78 percent and the Nasdaq lost 1.59 percent.

Dow-member Disney fell 3.8 percent in US trade, while Apple was down more than two percent.

In currency trading on Monday, the dollar ticked down to 121.24 yen from 121.26 yen Friday in New York.

The euro fell to $1.0867 and 131.76 yen from $1.0870 and 131.80 yen in US trade.