Tokyo shares open lower following Dow's loss

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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower Monday as investors turned wary after the Dow ended down last week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.45 percent, or 132.74 points, to 29,613.13 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.65 percent, or 13.20 points, at 2,031.33.

The dollar stood at 114.04 yen, nearly flat from 114.01 on Friday in New York. “The Nikkei started lower, weighed down by profit taking as investors continued selling shares after seeing the Dow’s fall,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Tokyo stocks open flat after mixed US close

The Dow fell 0.8 percent and S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent on Friday, as Europe continued to see a resurgence of Covid-19, forcing Austria to announce a partial lockdown while citizens in several European cities staged protests against pandemic restrictions.

Still, Okasan said, the virus situation in Japan continues to appear under control and “we believe excessive aversion of risk will likely be limited”.

The market’s softness “could be a temporary correction,” it said, pointing to the fact that the Nasdaq’s gain on Friday offered hope for investors, especially in high-tech shares.

Among major stocks, Sony Group fell 1.05 percent to 14,195 yen. SoftBank Group lost 0.48 percent to 6,823 yen. Toyota was off 1.43 percent to 2,102 yen.

The market was eyeing the impact of weekend media reports that Japan is considering releasing oil from its reserves in coordination with the United States to ease pressure from surging oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate stood at $75.32 per barrel, slightly off from $76.10 in New York Friday. Brent North Sea stood at $78.23 per barrel, also off from $78.89.

Energy developer INPEX plunged 6.02 percent to 905 yen. Top refiner ENEOS Holdings dipped 1.24 percent to 429.2 yen.

Its smaller rival Idemitsu Kosan fell 2.24 percent to 2,929 yen.

But some shares advanced. Advantest, which makes testing kits for semiconductors, rose 1.05 percent to 10,540 yen. Pharmaceutical firm Shionogi advanced 2.41 percent to 8,058 yen.