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Tokyo: Stocks open down 0.29%


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.29 per cent lower on Wednesday following drops in US and European markets and the yen's uptick as investors were jittery over Greek debt talks.

The Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 56.08 points to 19,568.76 at the start.

The dollar drifted lower after falling Tuesday as the market viewed recent lacklustre US economic data as likely to delay the Federal Reserve's plan to raise near-zero interest rates.

The greenback was quoted at 119.78 yen early Wednesday, down from 119.90 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The Japanese currency hardly moved immediately after official data showed the nation's surplus in the current account - the broadest measure of the country's trade with the rest of the world - posted a more than 20-fold jump in March from a year earlier thanks to lower energy costs and higher returns on overseas investments.

The euro bought US$1.1219 and 134.44 yen against US$1.1213 and 134.44 yen in US trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.20 per cent lower Tuesday as worries over higher US Treasury bond yields offset Verizon's US$4.4 billion takeover of AOL.

Europe's main stock markets slumped on Tuesday, as Greece warned that it could run out of cash in two weeks with debt repayments looming, raising fears about its eurozone future.