TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors sought to lock in profits after recent rallies, with falls on Wall Street also weighing on the market.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.65 percent, or 200.30 points, at 30,469.80 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.81 percent, or 17.18 points, to 2,101.69.
"Profit-taking is seen dominating trade following falls on Wall Street, and with investors cautious about overheating" in the Japanese market after recent rallies, senior strategist Yoshihiro Ito of Okasan Online Securities said in a note.
Investors are cautious as they await a set of Chinese economic data due later in the day, including retail sales and factory output, analysts said.
The dollar fetched 109.71 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.66 yen in New York late Tuesday.
On the Tokyo market, investors remain encouraged by the prospects for fresh economic stimulus by a new prime minister, with the ruling party soon to pick a new leader and general elections expected by November.
That sentiment could support bargain-hunting purchases later in the day, analysts said.
Major exporters were lower across the board, with automakers Honda trading down 1.39 percent at 3,397 yen and Toyota off 0.79 percent at 9,867 yen.
Panasonic was down 1.29 percent at 1,445 yen, Mitsubishi Heavy was off 2.39 percent at 3,048 yen, and Hitachi was down 1.35 percent at 6,606 yen.
Wall Street shares closed sharply lower as traders digested softer-than-expected US inflation data which seemed to cement a likely delay of the Federal Reserve's tapering of stimulus measures.