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Tokyo stocks open lower after Wall Street falls

WT24 Desk

TOKYO – Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, with investor sentiment weighed down by a strong yen and a retreat from records on Wall Street,AFP reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.31 percent or 74.07 points to 23,555.27 in early trade, extending losses after four days of declines. The broader Topix index was down 0.10 percent or 1.79 points at 1,878.66.

“The correction will likely continue as investors are discouraged by sharp drops in US stock prices and the strong yen,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a note.

Wall Street fell on Monday ahead of a heavy calendar of corporate earnings reports this week, including from technology giants.

Apple slid more than two percent after the Nikkei daily reported that it was slashing production of the latest model of its iPhone, adding to worries about the company’s earnings.

Apple will halve production of the iPhone X in the three-month period from January from the level envisaged at the time of its release in November, the leading business paper said.

In Tokyo, Apple suppliers dropped with Sony down 0.81 percent at 5,242 yen and electronics firm Sharp off 0.49 percent at 3,995 yen.

The Nikkei also reported Sharp was considering buying Toshiba’s PC operations. Toshiba was down 0.31 percent at 316 yen.

Renesas Electronics jumped as much as 3.6 percent in opening trade after American television network CNBC reported it was in talks to acquire US chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products in a deal that could be up as much as $20 billion.

But the stock later dropped back, to trade at 1,297 yen (up 0.69 percent), after Renesas denied the report. The dollar stood at 108.93 yen early Tuesday against 108.98 yen in New York on Monday.

Currency rates were barely changed after a Japanese government survey showing household spending slipped 0.1 percent in December from a year earlier, suggesting demand remains sluggish in the world’s third-largest economy despite a tight labour market.

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