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Tokyo: Stocks open lower on higher yen, mixed US stocks

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Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday as a higher yen against the US dollar and mixed US stocks weighed on the market.

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday as a higher yen against the US dollar and mixed US stocks weighed on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.20 per cent or 44.18 points at 22,295.05 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.40 per cent or 6.11 points to 1,533.36.

"Japanese markets are seen starting with weak sentiment as the US Dow dropped more than 220 points and the yen is firmer against the dollar," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.

Investors are closely watching Japanese corporate earnings and China's purchasing managers indexes for manufacturers and non-manufacturers due later in the day, he added.

The dollar fetched 104.66 yen in early Asian trade, against 104.78 yen in New York late Thursday.

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Wall Street limped to a mixed close on Thursday following the release of data showing a historically bad crash in US economic growth as well as rising joblessness.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.9 per cent to end the day at 26,313.65, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 0.4 per cent ahead of second-quarter earnings from industry leaders.

In Tokyo, several firms plunged on first-quarter earnings that were worse than market expectations, with chip-testing equipment maker Advantest down 14.93 per cent to the day's limit of 5,700 yen, Panasonic falling 10.79 per cent to 926 yen and construction machine maker Komatsu down 6.15 per cent to 2,121 yen.

But components maker Kyocera was up 3.03 percent at 5,909 yen after its first-quarter operating profit was better than analysts had expected.

Japan's jobless rate in June stood at 2.8 per cent, falling by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, the first improvement in the past seven months, official figures issued by the internal affairs ministry showed ahead of the opening bell.

Separate data by the labour ministry showed there were 110 jobs available for every 100 job seekers -- compared to 120 jobs in May and 132 jobs in April.

AFP

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