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Tokyo stocks open lower after Trump speech

Tokyo stocks fell at the start Monday, the Japanese market's first reaction following US President Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony.

After being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, Trump promised to build infrastructure, such as bridges and roads, and boost employment, aspects of his agenda the market likes.

But he also adopted a harsh anti-establishment tone throughout his speech, suggesting a tough line on trade that has worried economists.

Jittery currency traders bought the yen, a unit seen as a safe investment in times of uncertainty. A stronger yen is a negative for Japanese stocks.

"Markets are now waiting for more evidence that Donald Trump will deliver on fiscal stimulus and deregulation," said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based global investment strategist at AMP Capital Investors.

"Shares remain vulnerable to a further correction or consolidation in the next month or so," he told Bloomberg News.

In early trading, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.99 percent, or 189.64 points, to sit at 18,948.27, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 1.04 percent, or 15.89 points, to 1,517.57.

Wall Street finished higher Friday although the major indices retreated from session highs after Trump's inauguration speech.

In Tokyo Monday, Sony shares fell 1.29 percent to 3,427 yen and Toyota was off 1.55 yen to sit at 6,695 yen.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries slipped 1.42 percent to 525 yen on reports that it will delay delivery of a regional jet for the fifth time. It will hold a press briefing later Monday.

Toshiba, which lost nearly half its value last week, jumped 4.01 percent to 256.6 yen after Japan's Kyodo News agency reported that camera and copier giant Canon was mulling an investment in the troubled conglomerate's chip business.

Toshiba plunged last week on worries about multi-billion-losses in its US nuclear business.

Sharp soared 4.04 percent to 309 yen after its parent company, Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, confirmed Sunday it is considering a $7.0 billion investment to make flat panels in the United States. Sharp is a major player in that market.

Takata shares, which also lost nearly half their value last week, were untraded Monday morning again with an overwhelming number of sell orders.

The drop is linked to reports that two rival suitors will propose bankruptcy restructuring for the airbag maker at the centre of the auto industry's biggest safety recall.

In forex trading, the greenback dropped to 113.90 yen from 114.73 yen in Tokyo Friday afternoon.

A strong yen is a negative for Japanese exporters because it makes their products less competitive abroad and reduces profits when repatriated.

mis/pb/mtp