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Tokyo stocks open lower on stronger yen

WT24 Desk

TOKYO – Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday extending falls on Wall Street as the yen firmed against the dollar after the US president’s comments on the Fed’s rate policy, AFP reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.19 percent, or 42.67 points, to 22,722.01 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.15 percent, or 2.57 points, at 1,747.02 yen.

“Following falls in US shares and ahead of the weekend, sales for position- adjustment reasons are seen overwhelming the market,” SBI Securities said in a commentary.

The dollar fetched 112.48 yen in early trade, little changed from 112.43 yen in New York but down from 112.85 yen in Tokyo late Thursday.

In New York, the dollar took a hit after President Donald Trump expressed disappointment in higher Federal Reserve interest rates.

Trump, in part of an interview aired by CNBC, broke with the long- established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve’s decisions out of respect for its independence.

“I’m not thrilled,” Trump told the network in an interview excerpt aired Thursday. “Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.”

In Tokyo, semiconductor-related shares dropped, with Advantest trading down 2.13 percent at 2,470 yen and Tokyo Electron down 2.37 percent at 18,870 yen.

China-linked shares were also lower, with construction machinery maker Komatsu trading down 0.49 percent at 3,230 and industrial robot maker Fanuc down 0.35 percent at 21,285 yen.

In New York, the Dow ended down 0.5 percent at 25,064.50.

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