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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.44% lower


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.44 per cent lower Friday, hit by concerns over the US economy and lingering worries over debt-ridden Greece.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 89.43 points to 20,398.76 at the start.

Wall Street stocks tumbled Thursday due to unease over Greece and worries about growth after the International Monetary Fund cut its US economic forecast.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94 per cent.

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The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.86 per cent while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.79 per cent.

The IMF cut its US growth projection to 2.5 per cent from the prior forecast of 3.1 per cent. IMF chief Christine Lagarde called on the Federal Reserve to hold off on a rate hike in 2015, saying growth conditions are not yet firm enough for it.

Meanwhile Greece still looked far from agreement over new financing from official creditors, though one stumbling block - a large debt repayment slated for Friday - was removed when the IMF permitted Athens to bundle all its June payments, totalling 1.6 billion euros (S$2.43 billion), into one payment due on June 30.

Investors are looking ahead to the May US jobs report and a policy announcement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Both are scheduled for Friday.


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