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Tokyo stocks open lower after Trump cans North Korea summit

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Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday, hit by pessimism after Washington called off a planned summit with North Korea.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.27 percent or 60.14 points to 22,376.87 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.33 percent or 5.79 points at 1,769.86.

The yen was firm on safe-haven buying, pressuring Japanese exporters.

“Geopolitics is well and truly back” with US President Donald Trump announcing the cancellation of the summit, said David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.

Trump left the door open for a summit at a later date but has set “the bar higher” by demanding North Korea take constructive steps, he said.

Sentiment was also soured by Trump’s warning that he might impose tariffs of 25 percent on all car imports, de Garis said, but noted that “market reaction overall has so far been measured and somewhat contained.”

The dollar was trading at 109.30 yen, unchanged from New York Thursday but slightly down from 109.45 yen in Tokyo earlier.

Carmakers lost ground, with Toyota down 0.73 percent at 7,155 yen and Honda off 0.73 percent at 3,505 yen.

Panasonic fell 0.42 percent to 1,516.5 yen and Kyocera slipped 0.24 percent to 6,619 yen.


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