Japanese shares open up 0.39 percent
TOKYO – Japanese stocks opened 0.39 percent higher Monday but analysts said gains were likely to be limited as the ongoing political uncertainty in Greece weighed on sentiment.
The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 35.32 points to 8,988.63 minutes after the opening bell.
However, the Topix index of all first section shares dropped 0.14 points, or 0.02 percent, to 758.24.
Investors remain discouraged by Greek politics, where efforts to form a coalition government have so far failed, raising the prospect of new elections that could scupper reforms and force the country out of the eurozone.
Greek voters earlier this month punished ruling parties in a backlash against severe austerity measures in return for multi-billion-euro international loans.
“The lack of transparency, particularly in Europe, with the possibility of Greek re-elections in mid-June, is a worry that looks to remain with us for the time being,” said Monex market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama.
“And that will keep the investor bias to the downside,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The mixed finish on overseas bourses last week was not entirely encouraging, with investors also focusing on renewed weakness of the euro, he added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 34.44 points, or 0.27 percent, to finish at 12,820.60, while the S&P 500 fell 4.60 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,353.39.
But the tech-rich Nasdaq barely bucked the trend, gaining 0.18 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,933.82.
In the forex market, the euro stood at $1.2897 and 103.20 yen in Asian trade, slipping further from $1.2921 and 103.31 yen in New York Friday afternoon.
The dollar was at 80.03 yen, up slightly from 79.93 in New York.
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