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Amidst US-Mexico talks Tokyo stocks rebound

TOKYO: Key stock index opened here slightly lower today on investor jitters over US-Mexico trade talks, but rebounded soon after the opening bell as sentiment improved.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.20 percent or 42.55 points, at 20,818.65 after 40 minutes of trade after opening fractionally lower.
The broader Topix index was down 0.02 percent or 0.34 points at 1,529.74 as it narrowed opening losses.
The slack opening came after US-Mexico talks ended without an agreement on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump said some progress – but not enough – had been made in talks with Mexico on averting the tariffs he threatens to impose unless the southern neighbor stems the flow of undocumented migrants into the US.
Trump’s evening tweet said discussions will resume Thursday.
“I braced for steep drops this morning after initial headlines suggested things were moving towards higher tariffs,” said Seiichi Suzuki, senior market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre.
But the feared drops were limited with some market players believing the two nations would be seeking a compromise deal, he told AFP.
“No-one actually wants to hurt their own economy,” Suzuki said, adding hopes for lower interest rates in the United States were also providing support for stock prices.
Nissan Motor tumbled 2.64 percent to 742.7 yen after Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler said it had withdrawn a proposal for a merger with Nissan’s alliance partner Renault, which holds a 43-percent stake in the Japanese automaker.
“The merger plan forced those who had sold scandal-hit Nissan to buy it back on hopes that its business would pick up… but they are reversing the move again,” Suzuki said.
Energy shares also dropped on lower petroleum prices with oil explorer Inpex losing 0.82 percent to 887.9 yen.
The dollar was trading at 108.40 yen compared with 108.43 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.