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Tokyo stocks 0.95% lower at end, Nikkei 225 sheds 180.45pts

Tokyo stocks 0.95% lower at end, Nikkei 225 sheds 180.45pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks have ended 0.95 per cent lower, hit by weaker-than-expected Japanese growth data and a sharp drop on Wall Street last week.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 180.45 points to end at 18,790.55, while the Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.59 per cent, or 9.08 points, to 1,531.76.

Shortly before the Tokyo market opened, Japanese government data showed the world’s number three economy grew 0.4 per cent in October-December compared with the previous quarter.

That compares with an initial estimate of 0.6 per cent growth, the Cabinet Office said.

The weak data followed a tumble on Wall Street as another strong jobs report fuelled speculation the Fed will hike interest rates by June.

The Dow fell 1.54 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 1.42 per cent, and the Nasdaq shed 1.11 per cent.

“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.

In Tokyo market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, dropped 1.68 per cent to 45,340.0 yen, Sony fell 1.60 per cent to 3,283.5 yen and Nissan was down 0.16 per cent at 1,246.0 yen.