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Tokyo stocks open lower on US falls, Iran concerns

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday, tracking falls on Wall Street, as geopolitical worries linked to Iran added to the market's woes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.35 per cent or 76.43 points at 21,669.95 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.25 per cent or 3.99 points at 1,588.59.

US stocks retreated from records and lost ground Friday as better-than-expected US job data clouded investors' hopes for steep cuts in interest rates in the world's biggest economy.

"The good news from Friday night was that the US labour market remains in rude health, but the not so good news was the negative reaction" by US Treasury yields and US equities, Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

"The solid US jobs report triggered... a pullback in Fed rate cut expectations," he said.

Geopolitical concerns may be weighing on the market "following news on Sunday that Iran had breached the nuclear deal's cap on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium," he added.

The dollar fetched 108.44 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.50 yen in New York on Friday.

In Tokyo, shipping firms were among losers, with Mitsui OSK Lines trading down 1.11 per cent at 2,757 yen and Nippon Yusen down 0.64 per cent at 1,855 yen.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was off 0.45 per cent at 65,270 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.2 per cent at 26,922.12.

AFP