Tokyo shares close lower after US tariff hike

Published May 10, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse 

Tokyo shares closed lower Friday for the fourth consecutive session this week, as the United States increased tariffs on Chinese products and Beijing immediately vowed to hit back.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.27 percent, or 57.21 points, to end at 21,344.92, while the broader Topix index edged down 0.08 percent, or 1.29 points, at 1,549.42.

President Donald Trump got a briefing from his trade negotiators after the first day of talks with the Chinese side on Thursday, but made no move to hold off on the tariffs.

Minutes after the US increased punitive duties on $200 billion in imports from China from 10 to 25 percent, the Chinese commerce ministry said it “deeply regrets” the move and repeated its pledge to take “necessary countermeasures”, without elaborating.

“Markets are not all pessimistic but are still in a wait-and-see mood” with US-China negotiations heading into a second day, said Tsuyoshi Ueno, senior economist at NLI Research Institute.

“Summit-level talks are still possible… the worst-case scenario is that the negotiations will come to a rupture with no date set for the next round of talks, paving the way for the US imposing further tariffs,” he told AFP.

The dollar stood at 109.73 yen in Asian trade, little changed from 109.71 yen in New York.

In Tokyo share trading, SoftBank Group, which announced on Thursday its net profit jumped 36 percent, fell 5.41 percent to 10,925 yen.

Automakers were down with Mitsubishi Motors plunging 13.77 percent to 507 yen after disappointing forecasts published late Thursday, Honda losing 0.61 percent to 2,832 yen and Toyota falling 0.12 percent to 6,537 yen.

Sony added 1.46 percent to 5,408 yen and Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing was up 0.66 percent to 65,400 yen.

Nintendo climbed 0.65 percent to 37,000 yen.