Tokyo stocks flat in early trade
TOKYO–Tokyo shares were flat in opening trade on Friday, weighed down by a stronger yen and lingering concerns over the US economy.
The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.08 percent, or 11.26 points, to 14,597.77 in the first 30 minutes of trade.
The lackluster opening came after US investors powered the S&P 500 to an all-time high Thursday, one day after Washington politicians reached a deal to reopen the government and avert a feared debt default.
The S&P 500, the broadest of the major measures of US markets, closed at 1,733.15, up 0.67 percent — more than seven points above the previous record closing high of 1,725.52, reached on September 18.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.01 percent at 15,371.65.
The market was still weighed down by concerns over the US economy, analysts said.
“There are concerns about a potential slowdown of the US economic recovery as a result of the US government shutdown and the fiscal deadlock,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager for research at Chibagin Asset Management.
“Also, as the US recovery does not appear to have gained solid footing, the US monetary easing will likely be in place for the near-term, which will cap the dollar’s rise,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
A strong yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it makes their products less competitive abroad and erodes repatriated profits.
The dollar was at 98.01 yen early Friday, marginally up from 97.91 yen in New York Thursday afternoon but well below the mid-98 yen range in Tokyo earlier Thursday.
The euro bought $1.3666 and 133.93 yen compared with $1.3677 and 133.92 yen in US trade.