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Tokyo stocks open lower as hopes dim for US-China trade talks

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday as Wall Street tumbled on dimming hopes for much-anticipated trade talks later this week following reports of heightened tensions between the US and China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.91 percent or 197.50 points at 21,390.28 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.80 percent or 12.77 points at 1,573.73.

"US shares dropped sharply as hopes for ministerial-level US-China trade talks receded, and the Japanese shares are seen tracking the falls," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a note.

Washington said Tuesday it would curb visas for Chinese officials until Beijing ends its "repression" of Uighurs and other Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, a day after imposing commercial restrictions.

The move stirred anxiety over the prospects for the trade talks with Beijing this week, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 107.03 yen in early Asian trade, against 107.07 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, Nissan was down 0.62 percent at 656.7 yen after it unexpectedly announced its new CEO, while rival Toyota was up 0.09 percent at 7,094 yen and Honda was down 0.34 percent at 2,714.5 yen.

Kansai Electric was up 2.22 percent at 1,240.5 yen following reports its chairman will quit over a recent money and gifts scandal.

Sony was down 0.45 percent at 6,174 yen after it said its next-generation PlayStation 5 game console would launch for the 2020 holiday season.

On Wall Street, the Dow closed down 1.2 percent at 26,164.04.