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Tokyo: Stocks open 1.48% lower

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Tokyo shares opened 1.48 per cent lower on Thursday as the market resumed trading after a five-day break and following a negative lead on Wall Street.

[TOKYO] Tokyo shares opened 1.48 per cent lower on Thursday as the market resumed trading after a five-day break and following a negative lead on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 266.80 points to 17,803.41 at the start.

US stocks finished lower on Wednesday with petroleum-linked equities especially weak as a report showed the feeblest Chinese factory activity in more than six years.

A preliminary reading of China's purchasing managers index of manufacturing activity for September fell to 47.0 from 47.5 in August, the lowest reading since March 2009.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.31 per cent while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.20 per cent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.08 per cent.

In Tokyo share trading, Japanese automakers fell following news that Volkswagen's chief executive was resigning over an emissions scandal that has sparked a US criminal investigation and worldwide legal action.

Toyota fell 1.10 per cent while Honda plunged 4.47 per cent and Nissan was off 3.15 per cent in the first few minutes of trading.

On currency markets, the dollar was little changed at 120.31 yen from 120.28 yen in New York trade on Wednesday.

The euro traded at US$1.1186 and 134.60 yen compared with US$1.1182 and 134.50 yen in US trade.

AFP