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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.50% lower


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.50 per cent lower on Friday, pressured by drops on Wall Street and a firm yen on risk aversion over the Yemen crisis.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 96.40 points to 19,374.72 at the start.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.23 per cent on Thursday after volatile trade spurred by developments in Yemen.

Oil prices rose sharply as a Saudi-led coalition bombed Huthi Shiite rebels in support of Yemen's embattled president. Iran condemned the intervention.

The yen gained against the dollar and the euro Thursday as the Yemen crisis pushed investors into the Japanese currency, traditionally seen as a safe haven.

The yen held up on Friday despite Japanese data showing consumer inflation, excluding the impact of April 2014 tax rise, returned to zero for the first time in nearly two years in February.

The dollar was at 119.21 yen (S$1.37) early Friday, compared with 119.18 yen in New York late Thursday.

The euro bought US$1.0880 and 129.74 yen against US$1.0884 and 129.71 yen in US trade.


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