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Tokyo stocks edge higher amid trade war fears

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A pedestrian walks past a stock indicator displaying the debut of Mercari, a Japanese flea market app, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on June 19, 2018. Japanese flea market app Mercari soared on June 19 as it debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a major success for the rare example of a Japanese “unicorn” — a start-up valued over 1 billion USD. / AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA

Tokyo stocks opened slightly higher Wednesday but traders stayed largely on the sidelines amid lingering fears of a trade war after US President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs on Chinese imports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.31 percent or 68.21 points to 22,346.69 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.08 percent or 1.46 points at 1,745.38.

“Investors are seen taking to the sidelines in Tokyo, after US stocks dropped on worries over an intensifying trade war between the US and China,” SBI Securities said in a commentary.

“Amid a shortage of fresh clues for the market, investors are looking for (price) levels to settle down,” it said.

The dollar fetched 110.07 yen in early Asian trade, against 110.08 yen in New York late Tuesday.

Exporters were mixed, with Hitachi inching up 0.34 percent to 788.3 percent and Sony up 0.24 percent to 5,319 yen while Olympus fell 0.36 percent to 4,105 yen.

Banks were lower, reflecting falls in US long-term yields, with Mitsubishi UFJ losing 1.37 percent to 631.6 yen and its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial down 1.70 percent to 4,390 yen.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo clothing operator Fast Retailing traded up 1.13 percent at 50,620 yen and All Nippon Airways was up 0.53 percent at 4,310 yen.

In New York, US shares ended lower, with the Dow dropping 1.2 percent to 24,700.21.


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