Tokyo stocks open lower on trade war worries

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, extending a global sell-off amid growing worries that US trade frictions with China could escalate.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.85%, or 189.41 points, to 22 148.74 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.70%, or 12.05 points, at 1 716.22.

Global stocks sold off sharply on Monday with investors fretting about a ballooning trade war amid reports President Donald Trump plans new curbs on Chinese investment in America.

"The Nikkei index has kept falling on concerns that the trade war ignited by the Trump administration may escalate," said Rakuten Securities chief strategist Masayuki Kubota.

"The market is expected to continue testing its bottom," he said in a note to clients while adding investors could now start picking up some Japanese shares at a bargain price.

Okasan Online Securities said there were "growing worries about a global trade war."

"The investor mood will continue to be swayed by news headlines" on trade frictions, it said in a commentary.

In Tokyo trade in individual stocks, Fujifilm fell 1.35% to ¥4 165 after Xerox's new chief executive said it was preparing to sell products directly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fujifilm sued Xerox seeking more than $1 billion in damages for scrapping a takeover bid but Xerox denounced the action as "nothing more than a desperate and misguided negotiating ploy to save their takeover attempt."

SoftBank Group dropped 2.24% to ¥8 014 after the Nikkei business daily reported the group is seeking to list its mobile unit on the Tokyo bourse as early as this year.

The dollar was trading at ¥109.66 against ¥109.77 in New York on Monday afternoon.


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