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Tokyo stocks 0.63pc lower by midday, Nikkei 225 sinks 120.31pts

Tokyo stocks 0.63pc lower by midday, Nikkei 225 sinks 120.31pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 0.63 percent on Monday morning after weaker-than-expected Japanese growth data and following a sharp drop on Wall Street last week.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 120.31 points to 18,850.69, while the Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.40 percent, or 6.17 points, to 1,534.67 by break.

Shortly before the Tokyo market opened, Japanese government data showed the world’s number three economies grew less than previously thought in the final quarter of 2014.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.4 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, down from an initial estimate of 0.6 percent growth, the Cabinet Office said.

The weak data followed a tumble on Wall Street where stocks fell on speculation that the Fed will hike interest rates by June, as a strong jobs report offered another upbeat clue about the state of the world’s largest economy.

“Stocks had been rising on the premise that rate hikes won’t happen in the US because data wouldn’t be positive, but with the strong US jobs numbers we’ll probably now see a direct reaction in the opposite direction,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.