Tokyo Stocks Down Ahead Of British PM's Brexit Speech

Tokyo stocks down ahead of British PM's Brexit speech

TOKYO, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Jan, 2017 ) - Tokyo shares fell Tuesday as investors awaited British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech outlining details about how the country will handle its exit from the European Union. The pound edged back slightly but was still struggling after reports that May was ready to leave the EU in a so-called "hard Brexit". Sterling traded at $1.2092 in Tokyo, compared with $1.2055 late Monday in London.

The unit plunged to three-decade lows below $1.20 this week. US markets were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with President-elect Donald Trump's Friday inauguration in focus. "Investors aren't likely to take big positions before seeing what comes out of May's speech on the UK's departure plans," Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, told Bloomberg news. "Without knowing what ... Trump will say, some are trying to cut down on their long positions.

" The benchmark Nikkei index dropped 1.48 percent, or 281.71 points, to close at 18,813.53, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues lost 1.41 percent, or 21.54 points, to end at 1,509.10. Adding to selling pressure was a surge in the yen. The greenback sank to 113.40 Yen from 114.04 yen Monday. Takata extended its losses, diving 4.63 percent to 905 yen, after a 10 percent fall Monday.