Tokyo stocks open sharply lower after Wall St. falls

Tokyo stocks opened sharply lower Thursday, as investors sold tech issues after overnight falls on Wall Street amid renewed fears of elevated borrowing costs due to prolonged monetary tightening in the United States.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 430.40 points, or 1.38 percent, from Wednesday to 30,839.52. The broader Topix index was down 13.36 points, or 0.59 percent, at 2,241.04.

On the top-tier Prime Market, decliners were led by electric appliance, precision instrument and consumer credit issues.

The U.S. dollar was firm in the lower 150 yen range after hitting a one-year high of 150.32 yen in New York overnight, as rising U.S. long-term interest rates spurred prospects of a widening interest rate gap between the United States and Japan.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 150.09-11 yen compared with 150.17-27 yen in New York and 149.90-91 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The euro was quoted at $1.0566-0567 and 158.59-62 yen against $1.0562-0572 and 158.74-84 yen in New York, and $1.0585-0587 and 158.67-71 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

© Kyodo News