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Tokyo stocks open lower as investors sidelined

Tokyo stocks opened marginally lower Wednesday as cautious investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting remarks by the US Federal Reserve chief and key Chinese data later in the week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.34 percent or 81.07 points to 23,438.94 in early trade while the broader Topix was down 0.16 percent or 2.77 points at 1,706.90.

Traders were left with no major buying pegs after US President Donald Trump offered little in the way of positive news on US trade disputes with China or Europe, analysts said.

"A wait-and-see mood is likely to grow now ahead of Congressional testimony by the Federal Reserve chair from this evening and Chinese economic indicators tomorrow," Okasan Online Securities said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is to give back-to-back testimony Wednesday and Thursday.

In an address Tuesday to the Economic Club of New York, Trump again criticised the Fed for raising rates too quickly and cutting too slowly. But the US central bank is expected to keep rates on hold at the December policy meeting.

Instead of offering positive trade news in the highly anticipated speech, Trump threatened to raise tariffs "substantially" on Chinese goods if no deal is reached with Beijing.

"The much-awaited Trump (speech) was heavy on rhetoric and light on detail, leaving markets none the wiser," said Rodrigo Catril, senior forex strategist at National Australia Bank.

The dollar was trading at 108.95 yen against 108.97 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

In individual stocks trade, Nissan lost 3.31 percent to 690.8 yen after the crisis-hit automaker chopped full-year earnings forecasts.

IT investor SoftBank Group eased 0.23 percent to 4,264 yen while Fujifilm soared 5.66 percent to 5,147 yen on robust earnings.