The Tokyo Stock Exchange ended in the red on Thursday, as did Wall Street the day before, as the likelihood of Republicans and Democrats quickly agreeing on a new plan to support the US economy seems increasingly low.
The Nikkei flagship index fell 0.51% to 23,507.23 points and the expanded Topix index lost 0.74% to 1,631.79 points.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted Tuesday that a new plan to support the economy would not be voted on until the November 3 presidential election, due to deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats over its content.
These statements had pulled Wall Street down and strengthened the yen against the dollar, a negative exchange rate movement for Japanese exporting groups.
The context in Europe is hardly more encouraging, with the tightening of restrictions in the face of the coronavirus outbreak in France, Germany and the Netherlands.
One dollar was trading for 105.23 yen around 07:15 GMT, against 105.17 yen on Wednesday at 21:00 GMT. The Japanese currency was however significantly strengthened against the greenback on Wednesday. The European currency was stable against the yen, at the rate of one euro to 123.51 yen against 123.53 yen the day before. The euro fell to $ 1.1735 from $ 1.1746 on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. GMT.
Oil prices were in the red after two sessions of strong gains, pending the weekly report on US crude stocks later Thursday.
Around 07:10 GMT (09:10, in Brussels), the price of a barrel of American crude fell by 0.41% to 40.87 dollars and that of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea lost 0.42% to 43.14 dollars.