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Tokyo’s Nikkei index closes lower ahead of US job data

TOKYO (AFP/APP): Tokyo’s key Nikkei 225 index closed lower on Friday, with investors disheartened by falls on Wall Street and all eyes on US jobs data due later in the day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.40 percent, or 116.59 points, to end at 28,941.52, shrinking 0.71 percent from a week before. The broader Topix index inched up 0.03 percent, or 0.49 points, to 1,959.19. It added 0.60 percent over the week.

Analysts said that Japanese shares opened lower because of falls on US indexes.
“The selling mode was dominant for major Japanese shares after US tech shares slid over worries on the rise of long-term interest rate,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Traders were also in “wait and see mode ahead of the US job date,” it added.
In Tokyo trading, market heavyweight SoftBank Group lost 1.29 percent to 8,102 yen while Murata Manufacturing fell 0.44 percent to 8,531 yen.

Automakers were higher with Toyota growing 1.62 percent to 9,949 yen, Honda advancing 1.00 percent to 3,627 yen and Nissan climbing 1.60 percent to 571.2 yen.
Shares of Chinese restaurant chain Totenko jumped 9.42 percent to 1,103 yen, after soaring nearly 30 percent, on news about a possible panda pregnancy at nearby Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

Japan’s household spending soared 13.0 percent year-on-year in April, better than market expectations of 8.7 percent, according to data released by the internal affairs ministry before the opening bell.

The latest figure, which mostly reflects the depth of the plunge at the same time last year during a virus state of emergency, did not prompt strong market reaction.
Analysts have said Japan’s path to economic recovery will depend on how it controls infections as the country battles a fourth coronavirus wave.

The dollar fetched 110.23 yen in Asian trade, against 110.24 yen in New York late Thursday.