TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday, extending falls on Wall Street as investors fled to safe haven assets amid US-Iran tensions and ahead of the G20 summit this week.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.51 percent, or 107.22 points, to end at 21,086.59, while the broader Topix index lost 0.59 percent, or 9.15 points, at 1,534.34, reports AFP.“Uncertainties over the environment outside Japan have not been wiped out, although the dollar-yen became steady” in afternoon trade, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.
Iran said Tuesday it will further reduce its commitment to a 2015 nuclear deal, in defiance of new American sanctions as US President Donald Trump warned the Islamic republic of “overwhelming” retaliation to any attack.
Tensions between Iran and the US have spiralled since last year when Trump withdrew the United States from the deal under which Tehran was to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
The two arch-rivals have been locked in an escalating war of words since Iran shot down a US surveillance drone in what it said was its airspace, a claim the US vehemently denies. Investors are looking ahead to a planned meeting at the Group of 20 later this week between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, hoping for signs of progress in resolving the two countries’ trade war.