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TOKYO: Tokyo’s key Nikkei index opened lower on Friday after US stocks plunged on renewed anxiety over rising interest rates.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.13 percent, or 34.24 points, to 26,784.29 at the open, while the broader Topix index added 0.21 percent, or 4.05 points, to 1,902.40.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 3.1 percent, its worst day since June 2020, even after the US Federal Reserve held off on signalling more aggressive measures ahead to fight inflation.

Tokyo shares drift lower with eyes on Fed

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 3.6 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 5.0 percent.

“On second blush, investors seemed to decide en masse that the FOMC was still hawkish,” Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management said, referring to the US central bank’s two-day policy meeting which ended on Wednesday.

“However, they are also increasingly concluding that the Fed cannot arrest runaway inflation without avoiding a hard landing or an economic black hole.”

Okasan Online Securities said external factors, such as volatile US stocks, will “likely be a headwind for Japanese equities”.

“But the Tokyo market is expected to be supported by the ongoing depreciation of the yen, which accelerated after last month’s Bank of Japan meeting,” the brokerage added.

The dollar fetched 130.31 yen, against 130.20 yen in New York on Thursday.

Tech shares were lower, with Tokyo Electron, which makes tools to build semiconductors, losing 0.58 percent to 54,470 yen. Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest dropped 1.63 percent to 8,420 yen.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing shed 0.41 percent to 60,450 yen while SoftBank Group tumbled 2.34 percent to 5,166 yen.

Automakers were higher with Toyota firming 1.70 percent to 2,266 yen and Honda climbing 0.99 percent to 3,466 yen.

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