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Japan shares open 0.83% lower

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japanese shares opened 0.83 percent lower on Thursday after US stocks fell on disappointing earnings reports as official data showed Japan's trade deficit more than quadrupled year-on-year in March.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 110.67 points to 13,272.22 in the first few minutes of trading.

"Despite the difficulty over financial results at several US companies, the dollar held relatively firm against the yen, which should offer some salve for Japan stocks," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

"But ahead of the upcoming G20 summit, concerns about overall economic growth will nevertheless weigh on the market," He told Dow Jones Newswires.

The dollar was trading at 97.80 yen in early Asian trade, against 99.19 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The euro fetched $1.3031 and 127.45 yen, against $1.3033 and 127.97 yen.

US stocks closed sharply lower after disappointing earnings reports and a 5.5 percent plunge in Apple shares, along with dreary economic sentiment in Europe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 138.19 (0.94 percent) to 14,618.59.

Shortly before the opening bell in Tokyo, official data showed Japan's trade deficit was $3.7 billion in March as a weaker yen inflated import costs.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/japan-shares-open-083-lower-0