Tokyo stocks close down 0.64pc

May 19, 2014 - 6:00:06 pm

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 0.64 percent Monday as the stronger yen held back exporter shares, after the market initially rose on a Wall Street rally and upbeat Japanese machinery orders.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 90.15 points to finish at 14,006.44, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 0.78 percent, or 9.00 points, to 1,150.07.

Just before the market opened, Japanese government data showed machinery orders, a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, jumped 19.1 percent on-month in March.

The reading far exceeded a median prediction of 6.2 percent growth in a survey by the leading Nikkei business daily.

"But selling pressure grew in the afternoon, which swept away early gains and sent the Nikkei temporarily below the 14,000 mark," said Shunichi Umeda, a trader at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

"As the market's prospects remain uncertain, some players trimmed their long positions by cashing in on earlier gains."

In currency markets, the dollar bought 101.29 yen, weakening from 101.54 yen in New York Friday.

Exporters lost ground on the stronger Japanese currency, with Toyota closing down 1.14 percent at 5,459 yen, while Sony slipped 1.15 percent to 1,627 yen.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.27 percent to 16,491.31 as investors weighed some solid retailer earnings with mixed economic data. (AFP)

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