You are here
Tokyo: Stocks close lower over US-China trade row worries
[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed down on Thursday, despite more conciliatory messages from Washington on trade as investors remained worried about how the US-China row will develop.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.59 per cent, or 125.58, points, to 21,062.98 while the broader Topix index was down 0.43 per cent, or 6.60 points, at 1,537.55.
Washington softened its stance on auto imports on Wednesday but investors remained focused on the US-China trade war and the health of the world's two biggest economies, analysts said.
"Caution on how the trade war will develop remains strong," Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, told AFP.
Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi also told AFP: "It's hard for investors to buy shares actively as the outlook for US-China trade negotiations remains uncertain."
Industry sources in the United States said President Donald Trump planned to hold off on imposing steep tariffs on imported autos while Washington pursues agreements with key trading partners.
Mr Trump has threatened to impose 25 per cent punitive duties on autos - a possibility that has worried the European Union and Japan in particular, as well as Mexico and Canada.
In Tokyo, Japanese automakers were mixed as Toyota dropped 1.03 per cent to 6,502 yen(S$81.3) but Nissan was up 0.16 per cent at 787.1 yen.
China-related shares were lower, with electronic parts maker Rohm dropping 3.25 per cent to 7,140 yen and chip-testing equipment maker Advantest down 6.30 per cent at 2,881 yen.
Sony lost 1.90 yen to 5,369 yen. After the closing bell, the firm announced a 200-billion-yen share buyback.
The dollar slipped to 109.49 yen in Asian afternoon trade from 109.58 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.