Japanese shares open down 0.65 percent

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09:18 AM February 15th, 2013

February 15th, 2013 09:18 AM

TOKYO – Japanese stocks opened 0.65 percent lower Friday as investors showed caution about the direction of the yen ahead of a Group of 20 meeting in Russia.

The headline Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 73.44 points to 11,233.84 in the first minutes of trading.

“Caution is emerging over the yen’s direction,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager of research at Chibagin Asset Management.

“The topside will likely be heavy,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

The yen was at 93.05 to the dollar from 92.87 in New York on Thursday but still higher than 93.49 in Tokyo trade on Thursday.

The euro bought $1.3356 and 124.31 yen, falling from $1.3437 and 125.65 yen in New York on disappointing eurozone economic data.

Finance ministers from the G20 states mare meeting in Moscow from Friday with Japan’s controversial plan for “monetary easing” to boost its economy likely to figure prominently on the agenda.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 9.52 points (0.07 percent) at 13,973.39.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 1.05 points (0.07 percent) to reach 1,521.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 1.78 points (0.06 percent) to 3,198.66.

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