Tokyo stocks down 1.17%
TOKYO– Tokyo stocks fell 1.17 percent in thin trade on Friday, tracking falls on Wall Street and European markets and ahead of a key meeting over aid for debt-hit Greece.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 107.36 points to 9,070.76, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.96 percent or 7.36 points, to 757.23.
Recent rallies in the Tokyo market had investors eager to lock in gains, dealers said.
“Investors were securing profits following a lower finish in overseas markets (Thursday) and amid the persistently strong yen,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
“There are some risks for the index to drift lower, since the eurozone situation remains uncertain.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras are to meet later Friday as Athens struggles to meet reform conditions for continued financial aid.
Investors were also looking to Bernanke’s comments for more signs of easing measures from the Fed in response to mixed signs over the US economic recovery.
Sony fell 1.18 percent to 918 yen after the maker of PlayStation videogame consoles announced its latest restructuring measure, which called for sweeping job cuts at its mobile phone unit.
On Thursday, Sony said it would chop 1,000 jobs or 15 percent of the workforce at Sony Mobile Communications, formerly known as Sony Ericsson, and move its headquarters to Tokyo from Sweden.
“For companies like Sony and Sharp that are simply haemorrhaging cash, restructuring announcements need to be sweeping in order to make a significant share price impact,” an equity trader at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.
“Ideally, Sony needs to grow its way out of its problems by developing hit products, not cut its way out of them.”
Sharp Corp rose 5.49 percent to 192 yen, buoyed by recent reports that its biggest creditors were ready to advance loans to the struggling consumer electronics firm as it undergoes a massive corporate overhaul.
Steelmaker JFE Holdings was down 3.51 percent to 1,072 yen and Nippon Steel was off 1.14 percent at 172 yen as weak Chinese manufacturing data added to concerns about the global economy and demand for steel.
On currency markets, the euro bought $1.2547 and 98.64 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against $1.2562 and 98.59 yen in New York late Thursday.
The dollar was changing hands at 78.62 yen against 78.47 yen.
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