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Tokyo: Stocks open lower

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday after Wall Street finished nearly flat following a report showing sluggish US growth in the fourth quarter.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.49 per cent, or 96.12 points, to 19,371.28 in the first few minutes of trading, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.46 per cent, or 7.12 points, at 1,542.13.

US stocks finished little changed Friday following a lacklustre fourth-quarter growth report and some high-profile earnings disappointments from Chevron, Google parent Alphabet and others.

Analysts said the market was still digesting last week's gains, including the Dow's surge Wednesday above 20,000 points.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down less than 0.1 per cent at 20,093.78 on Friday.

In Tokyo trade Monday, Toshiba dropped 3.65 per cent to 250.4 yen after the firm said it would spin off its memory chip business, following reports that the vast conglomerate is planning to sell a stake in the unit to repair its battered balance sheet.

News reports said during the weekend that Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga would step down to take responsibility for the huge write-downs looming over its US nuclear power unit.

Exporters lost ground on a strong yen, which is a negative for Japanese exporters because it makes their products less competitive abroad and shrinks repatriated profits.

Toyota fell 0.62 per cent to 6,662 yen while Sony lost 0.91 per cent to 3,473 yen.

The US dollar fell to 114.67 yen Monday morning from 115.06 yen in New York late Friday.

AFP

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