Japanese stocks open 1.09 percent lower


11:02 AM March 22nd, 2013

March 22nd, 2013 11:02 AM

TOKYO–Tokyo stocks opened 1.09 percent lower on Friday due to uncertainty over the Cyprus banking crisis and a higher yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 137.18 points to 12,498.51 at the start.

“The heightened jitters over Cyprus, the stronger yen, coupled with across-the-board falls in US and European stock bourses, will send Japan shares down,” SMBC Nikko Securities general manger of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

US stocks fell after the European Central Bank said it would halt emergency funding to Cyprus’ banks unless the country reaches a bailout deal by Monday. The Cyprus crisis has revived concerns about eurozone stability.

The Japanese yen rose against the dollar and the euro in the wake of weak eurozone economic data and uncertainty about Cyprus

The dollar fetched 94.92 yen and the euro 122.48 yen in early Asian trade Friday, compared with 95.01 yen and 122.58 yen.

The euro bought $1.2905, compared with $1.2902.

But SMBC’s Nishi also said: “Faith that the new BoJ leadership will be active in taking easing steps should keep stock prices reasonably well-supported, however”.

On Thursday, new Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda pledged to combat deflation with aggressive asset purchases.

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