Tokyo stocks open 0.97% lower

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 0.97 per cent lower on Monday, weighed by a poor performance on Wall Street last week and jitters over the Ukraine crisis.

The Nikkei 225 index was down 139.44 points at 14,289.82 at the start.

Tokyo stocks were likely to be hit by continued sell-offs in United States high-technology shares, said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist for investment strategy at Okasan Securities.

"Sluggish trading is likely to continue," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

A slightly higher yen on the back of geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe is also seen negative to Tokyo stocks.

The dollar was at 102.07 yen early Monday compared with 102.19 yen in New York Friday afternoon.

The euro bought US$1.3835 and 141.22 yen against US$1.3832 and 141.36 yen in US trade.

But Ishiguro said investors were unlikely to sell aggressively in the midst of earnings season.

US stocks Friday slumped after a dim earnings outlook from Amazon sparked a big retreat in tech stocks and as world leaders signalled growing worries over Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.85 per cent to 16,361.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 1.75 per cent to 4,075.56.

Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine presented a captured team of international observers as "prisoners of war" Sunday, raising the stakes in the crisis as US President Barack Obama warned Moscow against "provocation".