Spain Attack Jolts Market in Tokyo

   •    18 Agustus 2017 11:02 WIB
stock market (en)
Spain Attack Jolts Market in Tokyo
Tokyo stocks down at break as Spain attack jolts markets (Photo: AFP)., Tokyo: Tokyo stocks fell Friday morning, following sharp falls in New York on a deadly attack in Spain and rising concerns over the fate of US President Donald Trump's economic agenda.
A van driver ploughed into crowds of pedestrians on Barcelona's most popular street in broad daylight on Thursday, killing 13 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Hours later, Spanish police said they had shot dead "four suspected terrorists" and injured another one in Cambrils, a city south of Barcelona.
Investors are likely to shun risks after all major indices fell on Wall Street and the yen strengthened, a negative for Japanese shares, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
"A van ramming broke out in Spain in what is believed to be a terror attack at a time when President Trump's views on racial discrimination were drawing criticism from various quarters," said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at the brokerage. 
"This made risk-off sentiment prevail," he added.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.02 percent, or 201.10 points, to sit at 19,501.53 by the break while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 1.03 percent, or 16.59 points, at 1,598.23.
In Washington, the administration has faced an exodus of CEOs outraged at the president's comments on white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups involved in violence last weekend in Virginia that killed one woman.
"There had been strong concerns toward President Trump's policy operation until now, but his comments on race have put him in an even more precarious position," Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Bloomberg News.
The White House Thursday said Trump has abandoned plans to form an advisory council on infrastructure.
The yen, a safe haven for buyers in times of uncertainty, rose against the dollar, a negative development for Japanese exporters as the stronger currency erodes their repatriated profits. 
The greenback was at 109.43 yen on Friday against 109.57 yen in New York and 109.86 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.
In Tokyo trade, automakers were lower with Toyota down 0.92 percent to end the morning at 6,118 yen while Honda fell 0.95 percent to 3,014 yen.
Financial stocks fell sharply. Top brokerage Nomura tumbled 2.15 percent to 628 yen and major bank Mitsubishi UFJ lost 1.93 percent to end the morning at 679.7 yen. (AFP).