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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.52% lower

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Tokyo stocks opened 0.52 per cent lower on Monday after weaker-than-expected Japanese growth data and sharp drops on Wall Street last week after a strong US jobs report.

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.52 per cent lower on Monday after weaker-than-expected Japanese growth data and sharp drops on Wall Street last week after a strong US jobs report.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 98.04 points to 18,872.96 at the start.

Just before the stock market opened, Japanese government data showed the world's third largest economy grew less than earlier thought in the final quarter of 2014.

The economy expanded 0.4 per cent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, down from an initial estimate of 0.6 per cent growth, the Cabinet Office said.

By contrast, a surprisingly strong US jobs report pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.54 per cent and the broad-based S&P 500 down 1.42 per cent on Friday.

The dollar soared as the upbeat employment data lifted expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as June.

The greenback was at 120.61 yen early Monday, down from 120.78 yen in New York late Friday but still well above 120.01 yen in Tokyo earlier Friday.

The euro bought US$1.0852 and 130.93 yen against US$1.0842 and 130.95 yen in US trade Friday.

Among individual shares Japan Display jumped 4.20 per cent to 496.0 yen in early trade after the Apple supplier said on Friday it would spend US$1.4 billion on a new smartphone and tablet screen factory in Japan.

AFP