Tokyo stocks close down 0.53pc
August 30, 2013 - 9:45:20 am
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 0.53 percent Friday despite data showing consumer prices in July rose at their fastest pace in almost five years, while traders remained nervous about a possible US-led strike on Syria.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 70.85 points lower at 13,388.86, while the Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.94 percent, or 10.46 points, to 1,106.05.
Selling was also fuelled as the dollar slipped to 98.11 yen in forex trade, down from 98.32 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.
Investors said the focus on possible military action against Syria was keeping players from aggressive equities trading.
While British lawmakers voted against punitive strikes after Syria's alleged chemical attack on its own civilians, the United States has indicated it is willing to act alone if it is unable to form a coalition response.
"The lack of British support for military action against Syria still does not remove the possibility, if not the increased likelihood that the US will act unilaterally," said an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage.
"Overseas investors are averse to doing anything with stocks right now, as the uncertainties are just too numerous."
Traders seemed unmoved by news that Japanese consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in July, their fastest rate in almost five years.
The figure follows June's 0.4 percent increase, which marked the first rise in 14 months.
However, while the data gave cheer to the government's easy-money policies aimed at ending deflation, the rise largely stemmed from higher energy costs and puts pressure on workers as wage rises remain stagnant.
In share trading oil explorer Inpex tumbled 1.98 percent to 445,500 yen, and refiner JX Holdings lost 1.51 percent to 520 yen.
Among exporters Toyota was down 1.98 percent at 5,940 yen while Sony was up 0.15 percent at 1,972 yen. (AFP)