Tokyo stocks close 0.98pc lower

April 28, 2014 - 9:20:01 am

TOKYO:  Tokyo stocks closed 0.98 percent lower on Monday, weighed by a poor performance on Wall Street, a stronger yen and jitters over the Ukraine crisis.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 141.03 points to 14,288.23, while the Topix index of all first-section shares eased 0.79 percent, or 9.25 points, to 1,160.74.

US shares tumbled on Friday owing to a sell-offs in tech firms after Amazon's earnings for January-March disappointed.

Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine presented a captured team of international observers as "prisoners of war" Sunday, raising the stakes in the crisis as US President Barack Obama warned Moscow against "provocation".

The tensions led investors to seek out the safety of the yen. The dollar bought 102.26 yen in afternoon trade, slightly recovering from 102.19 yen in New York Friday afternoon but still weaker than 102.33 on Friday in Tokyo.

Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, said lacklustre domestic earnings results as well as the sell-offs in US tech shares were to blame for losses Monday.

Honda tumbled 4.46 percent to 3,315 yen after its earnings guidance missed expectations. "There will be many more of these conservative outlooks," Akino told Dow Jones Newswires.

Honda said Friday its fiscal year net profit soared 56 percent from a year ago to 574 billion yen ($5.6 billion), thanks to brisk overseas sales and a weaker yen.

The company forecast further profit growth to 595 billion yen for the current year to March 2015, but that was below expectations of a 692 billion yen profit.

Japan's biggest mobile carrier NTT Docomo jumped 3.68 percent to 1,631 yen after saying Friday it would abandon a once-hopeful Indian telecoms business that has been mired in losses.

Among the losers was Japan Display whose shares tumbled 15.89 percent to 672 yen after the world's biggest maker of screens for smartphones and tablets and a key Apple supplier cut its annual profit target.

The downgrade came just over a month after the company listed its shares in Tokyo following a $3.2 billion initial public offering. The shares plunged on their market debut and remain well below their 900 yen listing price. (AFP)