Tokyo stocks close down 0.59pc

January 20, 2014 - 9:33:03 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed 0.59 percent lower Monday as the dollar weakened against the yen, while gaming giant Nintendo plunged after warning last week it would slip into a loss this fiscal year.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell 92.78 points to 15,641.68, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 0.27 percent, or 3.53 points, to 1,293.86.

"With no upside push to the dollar and US stock markets off tonight, there are almost no incentives to buy," said Tachibana Securities market analyst Kenichi Hirano.

Wall Street was closed Monday for a public holiday, while fresh China growth data had little effect on the market.

Official figures showed China's economy last year registered growth of 7.7 percent, maintaining its slowest expansion in more than a decade.

"Investors have no reason to become too excited about China after data confirmed suspicions of slowing growth," said an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage.

"Players will await more earnings reports from both US and Japanese companies, but hopes for an upside surprise factor seem to be abating -- especially after US and Japanese stock markets enjoyed such a robust 2013."

Nintendo dived more than 18 percent in opening trade after saying Friday it expects a loss of 25 billion yen or $240 million in the year to March. It reversed an earlier 55 billion yen net profit forecast, owing to weak demand for its Wii U console.

The stock recovered some ground to finish 6.14 percent lower at 13,745 yen.

Rival Sony slipped 0.73 percent to 1,767 yen while the stronger yen also pushed down other major exporters including Canon which lost 0.95 percent to 3,216 yen. TDK fell 2.02 percent to 4,835 yen.

A stronger yen tends to weigh on shares of Japanese exporters, as it makes them less competitive overseas and shrinks the value of their repatriated profits.

In forex trading the dollar bought 104.08 yen, slipping from 104.30 yen in New York Friday.  (AFP)