Tokyo shares open lower after Wall Street drops

A passerby stands in front of an electronic board displaying a graph showing recent movement of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo. Reuters

Tokyo shares opened lower Thursday, following drops on Wall Street as US-China trade and tech disputes continued to intensify.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.47 percent, or 100.50 points, to 21,182.87 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.39 percent, or 6.09 points, to 1,540.12.

"Japanese shares are seen pressured by falls in the US market and a halt in the yen's depreciation" against the dollar, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

US stocks fell back into the red on Wednesday amid intensifying trade frictions.

"Japanese chip-related shares may face head winds," the brokerage firm added, as US chip titan Qualcom dived after a federal judge found the company had "strangled competition" by violating US anti-trust laws.

The dollar fetched 110.22 yen in early Asian trade, down modestly from 110.30 yen in New York and 110.48 yen in Tokyo on Tuesday.

In Tokyo, chip-testing equipment maker Advantest fell 3.21 percent to 2,651 yen, and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron was off 1.92 percent at 14,990 yen.

Sharp was down 1.89 percent at 988 yen while Sony was 2.67 percent lower at 5,425 yen.

SoftBank Group dropped 3.94 percent to 10,235 yen after a report that the US Department of Justice's antitrust staff has opposed the proposed $26-billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

SoftBank owns the majority of Sprint shares.

Panasonic was down 0.58 percent at 899.3 yen, after it said it is suspending business with Huawei following a US ban on the Chinese tech giant over security fears.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.4 percent at 25,776.61 while the tech-rich Nasdaq closed 0.5 percent lower.

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