Nikkei extends losses after Abe says US-Japan trade pact still not finalised

Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:23am EDT

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Tokyo stocks slipped to one-week
lows on Thursday, extending losses into the afternoon session as
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that a trade pact with
the United States hasn't  been finalised yet. 
   Abe's comments came after a meeting with U.S. President
Barack Obama who is on a state visit to Japan.
   Some investors had been hoping that a two-way trade deal,
seen as crucial to a broader trans-Pacific agreement, could be
reached at the meeting. 
    The Nikkei share average fell 1.2 percent to
14,367.13 at one point, its lowest level since Thursday last
    A U.S.-Japan trade deal could benefit Japan's major
exporters such as car makers in the medium-term. Abe has touted
the broader trade deal as vital for growth in the world's
third-biggest economy, but faces tough domestic opposition to
opening up agricultural market. 
    Mollifying Japan's powerful farmers' lobby and completing a
successful trade pact is seen as a key test on whether Abe can
deliver the third arrow, or structural reform, to go with two
others that's already been deployed -- fiscal and monetary
stimulus measures.
    The Nikkei was also under pressure ahead of the looming
earnings season and lingering worries over the economic impact
of a sales tax hike that kicked in this month.
    The broader Topix index fell 0.9 percent.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.