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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.14% lower


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.14 per cent down on Thursday after the yen strengthened against the dollar as speculation by investors that the US Federal Reserve would hike rates receded.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 28.37 points to 20,194.26 yen at the start.

US policy makers said at their meeting in July that they need to see further improvement in the labour market and inflation rate before raising interest rates for the first time in nearly nine years, the Fed minutes showed Wednesday.

"The Fed is lacking decisive reasons to raise rates," Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

"Concerns about the global economy are a burden, and cheaper oil increases concerns about global growth." US stocks fell Wednesday, with petroleum-linked equities hit especially hard amid growing fears about the slowing Chinese economy.

China worries have dominated trade since the Chinese central bank unexpectedly devalued the currency last week. That came on the heels of six weeks of volatility in the Chinese stock market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 162.61 points (0.93 per cent) to 17,348.73.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 17.31 (0.83 per cent) to 2,079.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 40.30 (0.80 per cent) to 5,019.05.

In currency markets, the dollar was quoted at 123.87 yen, slightly down from 123.89 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The euro rose to US$1.1125 and 137.82 yen from US$1.1121 and 137.78 yen.