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Markets

Tokyo stocks open lower extending US falls

  • Takeda Pharmaceutical was up 0.16 percent at 3,774 yen after reports said Japanese authorities will likely this week approve the use of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, which the Japanese firm will import.
Published May 20, 2021

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday with investors disheartened by falls on Wall Street, as bitcoin plunged and worries surged over Fed policy changes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.48 percent or 134.79 points at 27,909.66 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.25 percent or 4.82 points to 1,890.42.

"Japanese shares are seen starting with declines on Wall Street falls, but bargain-hunting purchases may emerge after the Nikkei dipped below the 28,000 mark," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior analyst at Monex, said in a note.

Wall Street stocks finished modestly lower, with oil-related equities diving as Federal Reserve minutes showed the US central bank inching closer to shifting monetary policy.

Bitcoin meanwhile shed a whopping 30 percent at one point after China signalled a new crackdown on the cryptocurrency.

The dollar fetched 109.27 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.21 yen in New York late Wednesday.

In Tokyo, shares in SoftBank Group rallied 1.37 percent to 8,586 yen after reports said US investment fund BlackRock doubled its stake in the Japanese company to 5.2 percent.

Toyota was down 0.33 percent at 8,670 yen and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was off 0.92 percent at 85,360 yen, but Sony was up 0.67 percent at 10,490 yen.

Takeda Pharmaceutical was up 0.16 percent at 3,774 yen after reports said Japanese authorities will likely this week approve the use of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, which the Japanese firm will import.

But Daiichi Sankyo was down 1.28 percent at 2,590 yen despite reports that the AstraZeneca vaccines it produces will also be approved by Japanese authorities.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.5 percent at 33,896.04.

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