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Tokyo stocks open lower after tech sell-off on Wall St

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Pedestrians walk in front of an electronics stock indicator showing share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on March 14, 2018. Tokyo stocks opened lower on March 14, with investor sentiment cautious after US President Donald Trump replaced his top diplomat and reports said he is planning new tariffs on China. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday after a Facebook data breach scandal sent US stocks sharply down.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.79 percent or 169.27 points to 21,311.63 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.66 percent or 11.43 points at 1,708.54.

“Japanese shares will likely fall again today with selling prevailing after the sharp falls in US stocks,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Buying on dips would be limited before a public holiday in Japan on Wednesday as well as the US central bank’s policy meeting to be wrapped up Wednesday, it said.

On Wall Street, technology companies tumbled Monday following reports that the data analysis firm hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign stole information from 50 million Facebook user profiles to help design software to predict and influence voters’ choices.

The scandal sparked worries that it will lead to a regulatory crackdown on technology companies.

Telecom carrier and IT investor SoftBank Group fell 0.92 percent to 8,546 yen while Japan’s top e-commerce firm Rakuten dropped 0.60 percent to 907.9 yen.

Sony fell 1.92 percent to 5,044 yen and Panasonic sank 1.94 percent to 1,616.5 yen.

The dollar was trading at 106.00 yen against 106.10 yen in New York on Monday.


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