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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.80% lower


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.80 per cent lower Tuesday on a negative lead from Wall Street and a firmer yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 164.14 points to 20,293.05 at the start.

US stocks dropped Monday as the week kicked off with especially large declines in technology shares and airline stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.46 per cent, the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.65 per cent, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.92 per cent.

The equities market continued to weigh the implications of Friday's surprisingly good US jobs report, especially for the Federal Reserve's plans for an interest rate hike, analysts said.

In forex trading, the dollar was at 124.64 yen early Tuesday, higher than 124.47 yen in US trade late Monday but still well below 125.52 yen in Tokyo earlier Monday.

The US currency was dragged down Monday after media reports that US President Barack Obama had told the G7 summit in Germany that the strong dollar "posed a problem".

The White House denied that quickly, and Mr Obama told reporters: "I did not say that. And I make a practice of not commenting on the daily fluctuations of the dollar or any other currency." The euro stayed firm after rallying on solid German trade data, buying US$1.1274 and 140.55 yen Tuesday from US$1.1293 and 140.57 yen on Monday in New York.

Investors are continuing to watch the situation in Greece, which needs creditors to release money in order to meet IMF debt payments totalling 1.6 billion euros (S$2.4 billion) by the end of June.