Tokyo stocks dropped on Tuesday morning, with investors keeping a nervous eye on any fresh developments in the North Korea nuclear crisis.
Traders stayed on alert as South Korea said there were signs the North was preparing another rocket launch, possibly an intercontinental ballistic missile similar to the one fired over Japan last week, reports BSS.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula spiked after Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday — sparking global condemnation and a warning from the US of a “massive military response” if it or its allies were attacked.
“The stock market will continue to be on alert for geopolitical risks surrounding North Korea,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, a general manager at SBI Securities.
Traders and investors may find it difficult to make a move ahead of events including North Korea’s possible missile launch around the national founding day on September 9, he told Bloomberg News.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.47 percent, or 90.94 points, to 19,417.31 by the break while the broader Topix index was down 0.54 percent, or 8.68 points, at 1,594.87.
The dollar slipped to 109.34 yen Tuesday from 109.55 yen in Europe late Monday. The US market was closed on Monday for a holiday.
Toyota rose 0.45 percent to 6,197 yen and Panasonic gained 0.80 percent to 1,449 yen. Nintendo fell 2.28 percent to 35,940 yen while SoftBank dropped 1.68 percent to 8,621 yen.
Japan Post dropped 2.11 percent to 1,298 yen after media reports said the government was planning a second share sale this month worth billions of dollars.