Tokyo, Japan | Tokyo stocks opened lower on Thursday, shrugging off rallies on Wall Street, as investors digested US economic indicators, vaccine news and earnings reports.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.25 percent, or 56.11 points, at 22,458.74 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.33 percent, or 5.08 points, to 1,549.63.
"Rallies of US shares is one factor but the upside is being capped by the dollar-yen rate of around 105.50 yen," said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.
The US ISM non-manufacturers index released late Wednesday "improved for the third straight month" and President Donald Trump's positive comments that key US jobs data due this weekend would see big numbers "is giving a sense of relief" to investors, he added.
A new US study that showed positive results for a coronavirus treatment involving blood transfusions was also good news, said Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank.
"Even if a vaccine is slow in coming, better treatment options should over time reduce the 'fear' of COVID-19 and therefore allow economic conditions to gradually normalise," he said.
The dollar fetched 105.52 yen in early Asian trade, against 105.60 yen in New York and 105.68 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday.
In Tokyo, Honda was down 3.92 percent at 2,716 yen after the automaker reported a net loss for the first-quarter and reduced dividends.
Sharp surged 9.87 percent to 1,244 yen after its first quarter operating profit of 9.1 billion yen beat analyst estimates of a 2 billion yen loss.
Among other shares, Sony was down 0.62 percent at 8,493 yen while Toyota was up 0.38 percent at 6,673 yen.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 1.4 percent at 27,201.52.