Tokyo stocks edge down

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 24 Aug 2017, 16:52:26

Tokyo stocks edge down

Tokyo stocks slipped Thursday on a strong yen with sentiment also dented by President Donald Trump's remarks over a key trade agreement and a border wall with Mexico.

At a rally Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump vowed to build the border wall even "if we have to close down our government" and to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The outburst raised new questions about Trump's ability to build consensus in Washington which would be crucial to pushing through market-friendly policies including tax cuts and infrastructure spending, reports AFP.

"President Trump's address in Phoenix unwound all the positive feeling that had been built around the prospect of a swift debt ceiling resolution and US tax reform," Rodrigo Catril, currency strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at the investment strategy section of Daiwa Securities, added: "Trump's remarks are likely to keep impacting the markets for now -- at least until Congress resumes."

The dollar slumped against the yen as investors sought out safer assets with the greenback at 108.90 yen in early Asian trade. It later rebounded to 109.11 yen but it was still down from 109.56 yen the previous day.

A stronger yen is bad for Japanese shares as it hits the profitability of major exporters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.42 per cent, or 80.87 points, to close at 19,353.77, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.49 per cent, or 7.85 points, to 1,592.20.

Investors were also looking ahead to a meeting of central bankers featuring speeches by US Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Friday.

In Tokyo trading Panasonic fell 0.34 per cent to 1,454.5 yen, camera maker Olympus slipped 0.65 per cent to 3,780 yen and Nintendo was off 0.16 per cent at 35,920 yen.

Steelmakers fell after report said top buyer Toyota had negotiated price cuts. JFE Holdings tumbled 4.36 per cent to 2,059 yen while rival Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal dropped 2.48 per cent to 2,555 yen. Toyota was down 1.06 per cent at 6,107 yen.  MS&AD Insurance Group was down 0.99 per cent at 3,698 yen after announcing it would buy Singapore's First Capital Insurance for $1.6 billion.

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