Tokyo stocks open lower

16th January, 2019 09:43:16 printer

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday, with the currency market stable in Asian trade after the British pound fluctuated before and after the Brexit deal vote.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.19 percent or 38.39 points to 20,516.90 in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 0.23 percent or 3.60 points at 1,539.12, reports AFP.

Investors appeared to have factored in the defeat in Britain’s parliament for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which was overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers.

The pound changed hands at $1.2849 in early Asian trade, against $1.2871 in New York, while the dollar fetched 108.58 yen against 108.72 yen in New York and 108.69 yen in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“The pound is seeing some buyback as traders factored in the British parliamentary vote” against a Brexit deal, said Rikiya Takebe, senior strategist at Okasan Online Securities, in a note.

“As the Japanese market rallied in the previous session before the rise in the US market, we are expecting trade in a narrow range today” in the Tokyo market, Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

Analysts said investor sentiment remained positive but the market lacked fresh headlines to boost share prices.

In Tokyo, automakers were among losers, with Honda off 1.27 percent at 3,178 yen, Toyota down 0.73 percent at 6,841 yen and Nissan down 0.69 percent at 897.4 yen.

Sony was 1.41 percent lower at 5,370 yen and Hitachi was down 2.23 percent at 3,503 yen.