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Tokyo stocks open lower ahead of Xi speech


A man walks past a stock indicator showing share prices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on April 5, 2018.<br />Tokyo stocks closed higher on April 5 as fears of a US-China trade war eased and the yen weakened against the dollar. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI

Tokyo stocks opened lower Tuesday as investors waited for a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping at an Asian forum amid trade tensions with the United States.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.42 percent or 92.06 points to 21,586.20 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.30 percent or 5.25 percent at 1,720.63.

Traders were in a “wait-and-see mood … after volatile trade in US stocks and ahead of remarks from Chinese President Xi,” said Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito in a commentary.


Investors were waiting to see whether Xi would mention the brewing trade row with the United States during a speech at the Boao Forum — dubbed the Asian Davos — later Tuesday.

The dollar was trading at 106.65 yen against 106.75 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

US stocks ended volatile trade modestly higher on Monday.

They registered strong gains for much of the day amid a dearth of new developments in the ongoing US-China trade showdown that has alarmed markets in recent weeks.

But the gains were tempered by late-breaking news on an investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Shortly before the closing bell, it emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had raided the offices of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

In individual Tokyo stocks, market heavyweight Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo clothing chain, fell 0.42 percent to 46,420 yen while Sony rose 1.18 percent to 5,282 yen

Toyota slipped 0.17 percent to 6,729 yen and Nintendo lost 0.41 percent to 45,330 yen.

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