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Tokyo stocks open down 0.42 percent

/ 08:55 AM January 30, 2012

TOKYO – Tokyo stocks opened 0.42 percent lower on Monday after US figures showed slower-than-expected economic growth for the last three months of 2011.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened down 37.43 points at 8,803.79.

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Official data showed Friday that the US economy picked up at an annual clip of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter but the growth was below average forecasts of 3.2 percent.

The Nikkei may struggle for direction Monday as investors weigh the US growth figures and modestly easing concerns over European sovereign debt problems, said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

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The focus would be on an Italian bond auction and the European summit in Brussels later in the day, Hirano told Dow Jones Newswires.

The euro bought $1.3204 and 101.33 yen in early Asian trade, compared with $1.3221 and 101.37 in New York late Friday.

The dollar was at 76.73 yen against 76.67 yen in New York.

The lower-than-expected US growth figures and a disappointing quarterly report from Chevron kept a lid on US markets Friday.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.58 percent lower at 12,660.46, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.40 percent to 2,816.55 on a report that Facebook could finally make a move to go public.

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TAGS: Business, economy, stock exchange, Tokyo stocks
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