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Tokyo: Nikkei ends flat as strong data drives yen volatility

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[TOKYO] Japanese stocks ended the day flat on Wednesday after the yen see-sawed against the US dollar, rising and falling in strength as investors digested Japan's stronger-than-expected GDP data and US inflation.

The Nikkei share average edged down 0.05 per cent to 16,644.69.

The yen gained on the dollar early in the morning session after expectations for further stimulus were hit by data showing Japan's economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the first quarter, rebounding from the previous quarter's contraction and beating median market forecasts.

A stronger yen hurt the profit outlook for exporters' shares. The currency spent much of late morning and afternoon vacillating between strength and weakness as the market attempted to digest GDP data that favoured yen strength and stronger expectations of further Fed easing that would favour yen weakness.

The broader Topix edged up 0.2 per cent to 1,338.38 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.2 per cent to 12,104.18.

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The US Labor Department said its consumer price index increased 0.4 per cent last month, the largest gain since February 2013, after rising 0.1 per cent in March.

That took the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.1 per cent from 0.9 per cent in March.


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