Tokyo stocks open lower on renewed trade war worries

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday extending losses on Wall Street over revived trade war fears.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.33%, or 74.27 points, to 22 197.50 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.32%, or 5.55 points, at 1 725.90.

With trade tensions weighing on investors, the Dow closed down 0.7% at 24 117.59.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he supported tougher restrictions on foreign investment in sensitive technology, as well as export controls on those goods, though he stopped short of imposing specific restrictions on China.

However, investors grew cautious after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow warned that tougher action on China was still being contemplated.

"The president is unsatisfied with their response on trade talks and so he put out there the possibility of additional tariffs," Kudlow told reporters. "The ball is in their court."

In Tokyo, blue-chip exporters led losses on the backdrop of worries over a trade war which "may deter a rebound in share prices after initial dips," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Konica Minolta was down 1.05% at ¥1 027, chip-making equipment manufacturer Advantest was down 1.38% at 2 200, and industrial robot maker Fanuc fell 1.50% to ¥2 555.

Oil distributor Showa Shell Sekiyu dropped 5.43% to ¥1 640 after reports it will merge with Idemitsu, whose shares edged up 0.25% to ¥3 999.

The dollar changed hands at ¥110.08, down from ¥110.27 in New York late on Wednesday.

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