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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.17% lower


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks extended their losses at the open on Friday, slipping 0.17 per cent following a sharp drop on Wall Street as another batch of weak US data aggravates worries about the health of the world's top economy.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which tumbled 2.69 per cent on Thursday, fell 32.78 points to 19,487.23 at the start.

The greenback bought 119.44 yen early Friday, up from 119.38 yen in New York late Thursday.

The euro fetched US$1.1216 and 133.99 yen against US$1.1224 and 134.00 yen in US trade.

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Wall Street stocks fell sharply on Thursday as earnings from online listings company Yelp and others disappointed while US data showed only modest growth in consumer spending.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.08 per cent while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.01 per cent with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index down 1.64 per cent.

Shortly before the opening bell, the Japanese government said the nation's core inflation picked up for the first time in 10 months in March.

Core inflation, excluding volatile fresh food prices, rose 2.2 per cent year-on-year in March partly on higher utilities bills, logging the first increase since May 2014, data from the internal affairs ministry showed.

But stripping out the impact of a sales tax rise last year, the inflation rate came in at a tepid 0.2 per cent from a year ago, well short of the Bank of Japan's target of 2.0 per cent inflation.