Tokyo stocks close down 0.19pc

February 24, 2014 - 9:25:07 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks edged down by 0.19 percent Monday on late profit-taking amid light volume ahead of this week's release of key economic indicators from the US and Japan.

The Nikkei index fell 27.99 points to 14,837.68, while the Topix index of all first section shares fell 0.27 percent, or 3.24 points, to 1,219.07.

"Players tried to lock in some profit... and they are waiting for US economic indicators, which appear unpredictable due to the impact of the recent winter storm," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"But today's decline was limited, indicating that market sentiment is not so bad at all," Horiuchi added.

All eyes will be on US housing, consumer confidence and growth figures as markets look for clues about the state of the US economy following sub-zero winter temperatures in many parts of the country.

"It is possible that data to be released this week could come out lower than expected. Caution is needed over continued worries about the possibility of a US slowdown," Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in an online broadcast to clients.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19 percent, or 29.93 points, to 16,103.30 on Friday.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped, 0.19 percent, or 3.53 points to 1,836.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.10 percent, or 4.13 points, to 4,263.41.

Nomaguchi said the US market could receive support from investors' hopes that the weak data could encourage the US Federal Reserve to continue its zero interest rate policy.

US February consumer confidence figures are due to be released on Tuesday, followed by data showing durable goods orders and initial jobless claims on Thursday.

On Friday, the final estimate for fourth-quarter US gross domestic product is out.

Japan will also publish a string of other data, including key inflation figures, on Friday.

The dollar stood at 102.39 yen, little moved from 102.49 yen in New York Friday.

The euro was $1.3733 and 140.62 yen, compared with $1.3734 and 141.00 yen.

In Tokyo trade, Sony rose 0.50 percent to 1,775 yen after the company released PlayStation 4 consoles in Japan during the weekend.

Toyota fell 0.96 percent to 5,924 yen, while its rival Nissan edged down 0.10 percent to 918 yen. (AFP)