Tokyo stocks end 0.62pc lower

January 31, 2014 - 9:34:10 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 0.62 percent Friday, wiping out gains in early trade that followed a brisk US market overnight, as the yen firmed against the dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index slipped 92.53 points to 14,914.53 after trading in positive territory in the morning.

The Topix index of all first-section shares slumped 0.28 percent, or 3.45 points, to 1,220.64.

"Investors are seemingly taking profits ahead of this weekend as the yen firmed slightly," said Hiroaki Hiwata, strategist at Toyo Securities.

"Looking ahead, the US economic recovery will be the main focus as the majority of Asian markets are closed for lunar new year holidays," he said, noting that investors will be closely watching the US jobs data due out next Friday.

"Domestically, share prices will depend on each company's earnings report," he added.

He expects the Nikkei index to move in a range of 14,600 - 15,400 yen in the coming week.

The dollar bought 102.47 yen in late Asian trade, down from 102.71 yen in New York overnight but firmer than the 102.30 yen earlier Thursday in Asia.

The euro weakened to $1.3543 from $1.3554 in New York, and to 138.75 yen from 139.21 yen overnight.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Fujitsu soared 12.89 percent to 578 yen after the sprawling IT conglomerate said Thursday it had swung back to profit in the three months to December thanks to a weaker yen and brisk sales in PCs and networking services for public and business customers.

NEC rocketed 10.74 percent to 299 yen on the sale of a mobile carrier unit, even as it fell into the red in the nine months to December, mainly because of restructuring costs and a drop in sales after it left the smartphone business.

Toshiba lost 7.49 percent to 432 yen as its nine-month net profit dropped 29.1 percent due to higher taxes, although healthy sales saw its operating profit rise.

Nintendo fell another 1.41 percent to 12,150 yen after tumbling 4.30 percent Thursday as the struggling videogames giant said it would stick to its games console business despite slumping Wii U sales.

Honda edged down 0.25 percent to 3,893 yen, Japan Airlines rose 2.58 percent to 5,160 yen, and All Nippon Airways gained 0.92 percent to 218 yen ahead of their announcements of earnings reports after Friday's market close. (AFP)