Tokyo stocks open lower as yen firms on geopolitical worries

TOKYO, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday

despite rallies on Wall Street as geopolitical concerns weighed on the market

after suspected attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.08 percent or 16.74 points at

21,015.26 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.17 percent

or 2.59 points at 1,538.91.

Suspected attacks left two tankers � operated by Japanese and Norwegian

firms � ablaze in the waters of the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, sparking fears

of a broader conflict and sending world oil prices soaring.

Gains in petroleumlinked shares lifted Wall Street following the attacks.

The dollar remained under pressure, changing hands at 108.28 yen in early

Asian trade, against 108.38 yen in New York and 108.35 yen in Tokyo, as US

bond yields slipped temporarily.

Despite rallies on Wall Street, Japanese shares are seen weighed on by a

higher yen, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities,

said in a commentary.

The Nikkei index rebounded into positive territory in late morning trade.

In Tokyo, oillinked shares were higher with Japan Petroleum Exploration

up 0.91 percent at 2,310 yen and oil developer and wholesaler JXTG up 1.04

percent at 511.5 yen.

However shipping firms were lower, with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines trading down

1.64 percent at 2,331 yen and Nippon Yusen down 2.66 percent at 1,573 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 0.4 percent at 26,106.77.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)