Tokyo stocks open down 1.76% after Wall Street sinks on eurozone and oil price worries

Executives of the Japan Exchange Group and visitors celebrating the first trading day of the year during the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Jan 5, 2015. Tokyo stocks opened 1.76 per cent lower on Tuesday following a slump in US share
Executives of the Japan Exchange Group and visitors celebrating the first trading day of the year during the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Jan 5, 2015. Tokyo stocks opened 1.76 per cent lower on Tuesday following a slump in US shares. -- PHOTO:  AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 1.76 per cent lower on Tuesday following a slump in US shares on worries about the eurozone and sinking oil prices, while the yen gained ground.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 307.13 points to 17,101.58 in the first minutes of trading.

US stocks Monday plunged as the euro hit a nine-year low against the dollar and US crude slid further.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1.86 per cent to 17,501.65, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.83 per cent to 2,020.58.

Greek stocks sank more than five per cent, while the Paris, Madrid and Milan exchanges fell more than three per cent as markets fixated on the January 25 election in Greece.

US oil prices finished at US$50.04 a barrel, down five per cent after sliding below US$50 a barrel earlier.

The US dollar was at 119.40 yen early Tuesday, compared with 119.61 in New York Monday, while the euro bought US$1.1937 and 142.58 yen, against US$1.1933 and 142.74 yen.

A strong yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive abroad and erodes profits when they are repatriated.