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Tokyo: Stocks open down 0.33%

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 08:54
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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.33 per cent lower on Wednesday after soaring more than two percent the previous day.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 57.58 points to 17,308.72 at the start.

The lower opening came after the benchmark index closed up 2.07 per cent on Tuesday as a weakening yen lifted exporters.

Investors were now waiting for the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

The ECB is expected to further open the liquidity floodgates and announce a programme of bond purchases, known as quantitative easing, to prop up the sagging 19-nation eurozone economy.

The Bank of Japan is also to wrap up a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday with markets largely expecting the bank to withhold further easing measures.

Among individual stocks, Sharp tumbled 3.08 per cent to 220 yen in the first few minutes of trade.

The fall came after media reports said the struggling electronics maker would slash production of its mainstay liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for smartphones due to slowing sales to China and fierce price competition.

The dollar was at 118.72 yen, slightly down from 118.80 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon but up from 118.30 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.

The euro bought US$1.1550 and 137.03 yen against US$1.1553 and 137.24 yen in US trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat on Tuesday.

AFP