Tokyo stocks open lower on worries over Italy

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, extending falls on global bourses on fears over political uncertainty in Italy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.67%, or 374.17 points, to 21 984.26 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 1.59%, or 28.10 points, at 1 733.75.

"Risk-off sentiment is getting stronger on the backdrop of the chaotic European situation," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary, referring to Italian political turmoil.

The losses in Japanese shares come after US and European stock markets and the euro plunged again on Tuesday as political uncertainty in Italy stoked fears about the country potentially crashing out of the eurozone.

The safe haven currency yen firmed against the dollar and the euro in early Asian trade, with the dollar fetching ¥108.42 against ¥108.97 in New York late on Tuesday.

Carmakers were among the losers, with Honda diving 3.36% to ¥3 416, Toyota trading down 1.60% at ¥6 864, and Nissan down 1.80% at ¥1 088.

Banks fell, with Mitsubishi UFJ Finanicial losing 2.84% to ¥664.8 and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial down 2.59% at ¥4 435.

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