March 13, 2018 / 2:40 AM / a year ago

Nikkei dips, steel and auto makers still smarting from U.S. tariffs

TOKYO, March 13 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ticked lower in Tuesday morning trade, with shares in steelmakers and automakers still battered by concerns about U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.

The Nikkei average dropped 0.15 percent to 21,791 while the broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,739.21 as their rally on Monday driven by strong U.S. jobs data ran out of gas.

Steelmakers fell 1.2 percent, while transport equipment makers lost 0.9 percent, extending their underperformance since the U.S. tariffs were announced on March 1.

Some market participants say a political scandal engulfing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is raising doubts about his ability to pursue economic reform, undermining stock market sentiment. (Reporting by Hideyuki Samo Editing by Eric Meijer)

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