Tokyo stocks open lower in cautious trade

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TOKYO, April 8, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday following a mixed close on Wall Street as investors sidestepped active trading on a shortage of fresh clues.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.42 percent or 123.50 points at 29,607.29 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.45 percent or 8.81 points to 1,958.62.

“Trade in Japanese shares today lacks a sense of direction, as stocks with great growth potential (such as high tech shares) are struggling despite a lull in US long-term yields,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

“The market is awaiting new clues for trade, and investors will probably continue their wait-and-see attitude until the US corporate earnings season begins next week,” it said.

The dollar fetched 109.83 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.84 yen in New York late Wednesday.

Toshiba was up 0.88 percent at 4,570 yen after a report said it would set a 5,000 yen a share condition as it mulls a buyout offer from a British private equity fund.

Hitachi Metal jumped 5.07 percent to 1,905 yen after a report said its parent Hitachi has given preferential negotiating rights for a sale of the metals unit to a consortium of investment funds led by the US equity fund Bain Capital in a possible deal estimated to top 800 billion yen ($7.27 billion).

Hitachi was trading down 0.75 percent at 5,008 yen.

Chip-testing equipment manufacturer Advantest dropped 3.75 percent at 10,510 yen, Toyota was down 0.84 percent at 8,416 yen, and Panasonic was off 2.53 percent at 1,369.5 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.1 percent at 33,446.26 and the broad-based S&P finished up 0.2 percent but the tech-rich Nasdaq ended down 0.1 percent.