[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened flat on Thursday after Wall Street ended a five-day record run, with a currency rate rigging scandal sending the shares of three leading US banks tumbling.
The Nikkei 225 index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 0.03 per cent, or 5.05 points, at 17,192.00 at the start.
Global regulators on Wednesday announced US$4.2 billion in fines against six major US and European banks for attempting to manipulate foreign exchange markets.
As no Japanese banks are implicated in the rigging, focus in Tokyo stays on whether the government will put off next year's planned sales tax hike to support the economy.
"Speculation over the (tax hike) deferment will continue to simmer at least until the release of third-quarter gross domestic product figures next Monday," Investrust CEO Hiroyuki Fukunaga told Dow Jones Newswires.
The dollar was at 115.56 yen early Thursday compared with 115.52 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.
The euro bought US$1.2435 and 143.64 yen against US$1.2438 and 143.70 yen in US trade.
On Wall Street, the huge fines for rigging the foreign exchange market saw shares in JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America take a hit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.02 per cent while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 0.31 per cent on gains by Apple and Yahoo.