Tokyo stocks flat at close

July 17, 2014 - 10:38:00 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks ended flat Thursday, with early gains that were fuelled by a record close on Wall Street wiped out by a stronger yen.

The Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.06 percent, or 9.04 points, to 15,370.26, while the Topix index of all first-section shares edged down 0.02 percent, or 0.21 points, to 1,273.38.

Despite the late downturn, Japanese stocks are generally catching up with overseas markets after taking a hit on concerns about an April sales tax, said Shigeo Sugawara, senior investment officer at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management.

"Fundamentals aren't as bad as previously thought in the markets. That is going to be clear in the quarterly earnings results," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Japanese firms will start reporting their latest financial results over the coming weeks.

The market got a positive lead from Wall Street, where strong Intel earnings and a new IBM venture with Apple boosted stocks.

The blue-chip Dow rose 0.45 percent to another all-time high, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.42 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.22 percent.

In foreign exchange deals Thursday the dollar eased to 101.51 yen from 101.69 yen in New York.

And in share trading, KDDI ended 0.11 percent lower at 6,229 yen. The mobile carrier had risen in the morning after saying it and trading house Sumitomo had signed a deal with Myanmar's state-run Myanma Posts & Telecommunications to jointly develop services in the country.

The deal calls for investments of about $2.0 billion over a decade to boost wireless coverage in one of the world's least-connected countries.

Oil and metals group JX Holdings added 0.56 percent to 542 yen after saying it would launch a new company to promote the construction of hydrogen stations in Japan for fuel-cell vehicles. (AFP)