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Tokyo stocks open down 0.55%

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks opened down 0.55 percent on Thursday following overnight falls in US shares after Federal Reserve minutes showed divisions over asset purchases to boost the economy.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 63.55 points at 11,404.73 at the start.

The index is likely to trade in a narrow range Thursday with a negative bias, as strong buy catalysts are lacking and US shares succumbed to selling, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.

"The persistently weak yen helps the market to avoid reflexive selling in the case of overseas market falls," he told Dow Jones Newswires. "The downside for stock prices should thus remain limited."

The dollar was at 93.67 yen in early Asian trade against 93.61 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.

The euro bought 124.31 yen and $1.3271 from 124.37 yen and $1.3283 in US trade.

Shares in Sony were up 1.32 percent at 1,373 yen in the first few minutes of trading, soon after the group unveiled a new-generation PlayStation 4 system in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended Tuesday at its best level in more than five years, finished down 0.77 percent at 13,927.54 after the Fed released the minutes of a January 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

A "number" of participants said that an ongoing evaluation of the $85 billion per month asset purchases "might well lead the committee to taper or end its purchases before it judged that a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labour market had occurred," the minutes said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130220/tokyo-stocks-open-down-055