Tokyo stocks edge higher amid trade war fears

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, but traders stayed largely on the sidelines amid lingering fears of a trade war after US President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs on Chinese imports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.31% or 68.21 points to 22 346.69 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.08% or 1.46 points at 1 745.38.

"Investors are seen taking to the sidelines in Tokyo, after US stocks dropped on worries over an intensifying trade war between the US and China," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

"Amid a shortage of fresh clues for the market, investors are looking for (price) levels to settle down," it said.

The dollar fetched ¥110.07 in early Asian trade, against ¥110.08 in New York late on Tuesday.

Exporters were mixed, with Hitachi inching up 0.34% to 788.3% and Sony up 0.24% to ¥5 319 while Olympus fell 0.36% to ¥4 105.

Banks were lower, reflecting falls in US long-term yields, with Mitsubishi UFJ losing 1.37% to ¥631.6 and its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial down 1.70% to ¥4 390.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo clothing operator Fast Retailing traded up 1.13% at ¥50 620 and All Nippon Airways was up 0.53% at ¥4 310.

In New York, US shares ended lower, with the Dow dropping 1.2% to 24 700.21.

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