Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday, with investors retreating to the sidelines to look for fresh trading pegs amid reports of damage after a big earthquake in northern Japan.
The benchmark Nikkei index fell 0.58% or 131.45 points to 22 449.38 in early trade, while the broader Topix index fell 0.52% or 8.90 points to 1 696.06.
Market players had mixed leads from New York where the blue-chip Dow Average turned up while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell.
Investors were watching the aftermath of a powerful 6.6 magnitude quake that hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido early Thursday.
It triggered landslides, bringing down several houses. One person was dead and several dozen missing.
"A wait-and-see mood may spread as investors try to confirm the damage and impact (on the economy)," SBI Securities said in a note.
The tremor came just days after typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit Japan in 25 years, wreaked havoc in western regions.
It shut down a major airport and hampered factory operations.
In individual stocks trade, electronics companies fell.
Murata Manufacturing lost 2.08% to ¥18 590 and Sharp fell 2.99% to ¥2 426.
The dollar slipped to ¥111.32 from ¥111.53 in New York on Wednesday afternoon.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER