Tokyo stocks open 0.74% lower on yen's rise and Wall Street drop

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 0.74 per cent lower on Wednesday, hit by the yen's rise and drops on Wall Street on worries about falling oil prices.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 125.89 to 16,961.82 at the start.

In New York on Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.15 per cent and the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.26 per cent, overshadowed by worries about sliding crude oil prices.

The yen rose against other currencies on safe-haven buying, a negative for Japanese exporters as the stronger currency makes them less competitive abroad and erodes profits when repatriated.

The US dollar was at 117.72 yen early Wednesday, down from 117.90 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon and rates above 118 yen seen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.

The euro also fell after a key European central banker expressed support for monetary stimulus.

The common European currency bought 138.69 yen and US$1.1776 against 138.84 yen and US$1.1777 in US trade.

The Russian rouble's drop took a breather early Wednesday after plunging by around 5 per cent on Tuesday as global oil prices tumbled towards a six-year low.

The dollar was at 65.28 against the rouble on Wednesday against levels above 66 seen on Tuesday.