TOKYO: Tokyo stocks moved lower on Tuesday, dragged down by lingering uncertainty over the prospects for a US-North Korea summit and a political crisis in Italy which is heading for fresh elections.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.55 percent, or 122.66 points, to close at 22,358.43 while the broader Topix index was down 0.48 percent, or 8.57 points, at 1,761.85.
“A wait-and-see mood is likely to spread as Italian risk emerged on top of uncertainty over the prospects for the US-North Korea summit and concerns about US-China trade tensions,” SBI Securities said in a commentary.
Italy was plunged into political chaos after the collapse of a bid by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League to form a government.
President Sergio Mattarella on Monday named a former IMF economist as caretaker prime minister to lead the country into new elections, possibly as soon as the autumn.
While US markets were closed for a holiday, European stocks, bonds and the euro fell on Monday as investors feared that the nomination of a caretaker government would only delay, but not avert, a eurozone crisis.
The dollar fell to 108.96 yen from 109.35 yen in Europe on Monday while the euro stayed weak, buying $1.1617 against $1.1624.
Investors largely shrugged off a Japanese government survey showing the jobless rate was flat at 2.5 percent in April, hovering near the lowest level in 25 years.
In individual stock trade, companies doing a large percentage of their business in Europe were weaker, with Mazda down 0.70 percent at 1,400 yen.
Hitachi dropped 1.39 percent to 814.2 yen as investors watch its negotiations with the British government over a major nuclear power project.
Sony fell 0.44 percent to 5,160 yen and Panasonic lost 0.29 percent to 1,513 yen.