Tokyo shares open lower
Man looks at an electronic stock board in Tokyo - AP/Koji Sasahara

TOKYO: Tokyo shares opened lower Wednesday, following overnight falls of Wall Street stocks on profit taking, while the dollar slipped.

The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gave up 216.67 points or 1.42 percent to 15,007.44 in the first minutes of trading.

A lack of fresh trading incentives was also partly to blame for the weakness at the Tokyo bourse, said Kenichi Hirano, Tachinbana Securities market analyst.

“There is a real dearth of trading cues right now, which is in part responsible for the low volume we’ve seen in recent days,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Traders have been squaring positions for technical reasons, ahead of expirations of major options and futures contracts on Friday, he added.

US shares’ weakness overnight on profit-taking also weighed on the Tokyo market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 67.43 (0.41 percent) to 16,351.25 on Tuesday.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 9.54 (0.51 percent) to 1,867.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 27.26 (0.63 percent) at 4,307.19, its fourth loss in as many sessions.

Analysts also blamed the yen’s strength against the dollar for adding pressure on Tokyo shares.

The greenback stood at 102.88 yen, falling from 102.94 yen in New York Tuesday.

The euro was $1.3855 and 142.50 yen, mixed from $1.3863 142.73 yen in New York.

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