Tokyo stocks close flat

August 15, 2014 - 10:23:38 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed flat on Friday in thin holiday trade as investors locked in profits after four days of gains.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.02 percent, or 3.77 points to finish at 15,318.34, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.01 percent, or 0.18 points, at 1,270.68.

Trading was muted with many investors away for Japan's traditional mid-summer holiday.

"With volume so light and incentives so few, the selling we're seeing today is nothing more than rudimentary after a stretch of strong gains," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management.

"It's entirely possible, however, that even following the resumption of 'normal' trading next week, overall market movements will remain somewhat subdued," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

In afternoon trade, the Nikkei index recovered slightly from its early losses as the dollar held steady against the yen, a plus for Japanese exporters.

In currency markets, the dollar fetched 102.54 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, compared with 102.45 yen in New York.

In share trading, Skymark rose 1.19 percent to 169.0 yen after the airline said it was terminating some domestic services and raising fares as it faces potentially huge penalties in the wake of a cancelled jet order with European plane manufacturer Airbus.

Sony climbed 2.12 percent to 1,874.0 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported the firm plans to sell image sensors for cameras used in vehicles.

The consumer electronics and entertainment giant is looking to tap new growth markets on the back of a move toward driverless cars and other "smart" vehicles that depend on image sensor technology, the newspaper said.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.37 percent, extending the prior day's gains after jobs data continued to suggest the US labour market was improving. (AFP)