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Tokyo stocks open lower with few trading drivers

WT24 Desk

TOKYO– Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday amid lingering uncertainty over the US economic outlook with a lack of fresh market-moving events after a holiday in US markets, AFP reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.58 percent or 126.75 points at 21,792.58 in early trade, while the broader Topix index fell 0.57 percent or 9.33 points at 1,631.16.

“The Tokyo market is seen trading in a narrow range without a sense of direction,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

For the Tokyo market to regain upward momentum, investors will need to see signs that US rate hikes will soon come to an end, said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

The dollar fetched 113.06 yen in early Asian trade, against 113.47 yen in London and 113.00 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday.

In Tokyo, Takeda Pharmaceutical was down 2.78 percent at 4,122 yen after its shareholders agreed to a $60-billion takeover of Irish pharmaceuticals firm Shire.

Game giant Nintendo was down 2.61 percent at 32,410 yen, Sony was down 0.92 percent at 5,880 yen, and Panasonic was off 1.21 percent at 1,138 yen.

But some oil-linked shares rallied following two days of losses, with oil developer Inpex edging up 0.66 percent to 1,213.5 yen and oil distributer Showa Shell Sekiyu up 1.42 percent at 1,711 yen.

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