Tokyo stocks close mixed, Nikkei down 0.16pc
September 20, 2013 - 9:13:01 am
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed mixed on Friday as the dollar climbed back above 99 yen, but with any upward momentum capped by profit-taking following two days of solid gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.16 percent, or 23.76 points, to 14,742.42, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.29 percent, or 3.50 points, to 1,218.98.
"With the Nikkei up over three percent in just two days, a measure of profit-taking can be expected," said Tachibana Securities market advisor Kenichi Hirano.
Investors were also booking gains ahead of a three-day weekend in Japan, with a number of key Asian markets closed Friday and German federal elections on Sunday.
"However, currency market movements generally tend to trump other factors," Hirano told Dow Jones Newswires.
A weakening yen tends to lift shares of Japanese exporters such as Sony and Toyota as it helps make them more competitive overseas and inflates the value of repatriated foreign earnings -- boosting their bottom line.
On currency markets, the dollar bought 99.31 yen in afternoon Asian trade, slightly down from 99.38 yen in New York but well above the low 98-yen range seen in Tokyo Thursday morning.
Financial markets in South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are closed on Friday for public holidays. Japanese markets will be closed Monday.
In Tokyo share trading, Sony rose 0.23 percent to 2,132 yen as Toyota gained 1.25 percent to 6,480 yen while electronics giant Sharp fell 1.60 percent to 369 yen.
NTT Docomo added 0.62 percent to 161,800 yen after Japan's biggest mobile carrier began selling Apple's iPhone, the last of the country's three biggest operators to carry the popular smartphone.
Wall Street closed mixed Thursday, cooling off after Wednesday's rally following the Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its aggressive stimulus programme intact. (AFP)