Tokyo stocks close lower

4 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Monday, weighed down by investor caution over US trade tensions with Canada and China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.69 percent or 157.77 points to close at 22,707.38, while the broader Topix index ended down 0.87 percent or 15.04 points at 1,720.31, reports AFP.

After US markets closed mixed on Friday, news emerged that US-Canada talks ended without an agreement on rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), though discussions will resume this week.

This replaced optimism at the start of last week following news the US and Mexico had agreed a revised NAFTA trade pact.

Investor sentiment has also been hit by speculation that President Donald Trump’s administration will impose tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese imports as soon as this week.

“The negative impact from the US-China trade war is bigger for China than for the US,” said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

“Japanese corporate performance has been sound and seems to have received no major negative impact” from the trade frictions, but some knock-on effects such as a decline in orders from China-related companies has been observed, he added.

In Asia, the dollar stood at 111.91 yen on Monday compared with 111.02 yen in New York on Friday afternoon.

Shares in automakers dropped on the trade concerns, with Toyota losing 1.64 percent to 6,816 yen and Honda off 1.09 percent at 3,256 yen.

China-related shares were lower, with industrial robots maker Fanuc falling 1.97 percent to 21,345 yen and construction machine maker Komatsu ending down 0.60 percent at 3,142 yen.

Renesas Electronics dived 6.42 percent to 786 yen after weekend reports that it was in the final stages of inking a six-billion-dollar deal to buy a US microchip maker.