Tokyo stocks open lower on US politics

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday, as the safe haven yen rose against the dollar after Donald Trump’s White House was rocked by the resignation of top economic advisor Gary Cohn.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.59 percent, or 126.50 points to 21,291.26 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.52 percent, or 8.85 points at 1,707.45.

“This is a Cohn shock, but after the market opening share prices have been gradually rebounding,” senior market advisor Kyoko Amemiya of SBI Securities told AFP.

The news that Cohn quit in protest at the US president’s decision to levy global steel tariffs came after the US market close.

Therefore, worries over the US politics and its global impact “had to be factored in firstly in currency trading… and then in the Japanese stocks market,” she said.

The dollar fell to 105.60 yen in early Asian trade, from 106.17 yen in New York late Tuesday, weighing on Japanese exporters.

Wednesday’s fall in the Tokyo market came after US stocks finished higher partly due to expectations for a detente in the Korean peninsula and receding worries over a trade war.

Looking ahead, investors are seen reluctant to take any firm positions ahead of key events this week including the US jobs data due late Friday, she noted.

Toyota was down 1.11 percent at 6,805 yen and Panasonic was down 0.70 percent at 1,712.5 percent.

Kobe Steel was down 3.24 percent at 1,074 yen in early trade, after its chief executive quit over a fake data scandal.

Its bigger rival Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal was down 1.79 percent at 2,356.5 percent.

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