Tokyo stocks opened lower as oil prices dropped

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Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday after three days of gains, tracking Wall Street’s losses and as oil prices dropped.

Leading US indices retreated from record highs on Tuesday, with weakness in petroleum-linked shares, airlines and media companies weighing on the market, reports BSS.

Energy explorer stocks lost ground in Japan amid concerns production from US shale fields is overwhelming OPEC efforts to ease a global supply glut.

“Japanese stocks have risen for three days, and with the overseas environment a little weak, it’s easier for profit taking to take the lead,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, deputy general manager at Japan Asia Securities.

“It’s difficult to judge whether the oil drop is due to a slowdown in growth or if it’s merely a matter of oversupply,” he told Bloomberg News.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index retreated 0.24 percent, or 48.41 points, to 20,182.00 in early trade, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.18 percent, or 2.99 points, at 1,614.26.

Oil explorer Inpex slumped 1.80 percent to 1,032 yen while Japan Petroleum tumbled 2.35 percent to 2,238 yen. Takata shares, which lost one-third of their value in the past two days due to bankruptcy fears, were untraded as the number of sell orders swamped buy orders.

Toshiba rose 1.24 percent to 334.3 yen after news reports that its board is meeting on Wednesday in a bid to pick a preferential buyer of its microchip unit.

The reports said Toshiba would discuss a plan to give top negotiating rights to a Japanese government-led alliance with South Korea’s SK Hynix and a US equity fund.

The industrial conglomerate needs to raise money through the sale of the prized business after taking massive losses from US nuclear operations. The dollar was changing hands at 111.37 yen compared with 111.46 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

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