Tokyo shares mixed at close

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Tokyo - Tokyo stocks ended mixed on Friday, as investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the weekend without many incentives to move the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.19 percent, 17.77 points, to 9,527.39, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares were up 0.19 percent, or 1.50 points, at 790.24.

“Upcoming US non-farm payrolls data due later on the day, upcoming Japanese general elections, and a possible North Korean missile launch are keeping trading activity subdued,” an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.

US stocks finished in positive territory on Thursday after circling the breakeven line for much of the session, with a mild rebound by volatile Apple buoying the Nasdaq for a 0.5 percent gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,074.04, up 39.55

points (0.30 percent).

But buoyant overseas bourses were offset by modest yen strength and a large-lot selling by overseas hedge funds, market players said.

The dollar changed hands at 82.39 yen in Tokyo trade, compared with 82.42 yen in New York late on Thursday.

The euro bought $1.2954 in Tokyo trade, compared with $1.2966

from late Thursday in New York, where it had briefly fallen to around $1.2950 at one point, while the single currency eased to 106.75 yen from 106.85 yen.

Mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo rose 3.46 percent at 122,300 yen after a Nikkei article speculating that the company will soon start selling Apple's popular iPhone in Japan.

Two other mobile phone carriers which both sell the iPhone lost ground Ä Softbank fell 2.11 percent at 3,005 yen, with KDDI off 2.97 percent at 5,880 yen.

“It's purely speculative, of course, but NTT Docomo selling the iPhone would indeed be a game-changer,” an official at a domestic asset manager told Dow Jones Newswires.

“The iPhone has been a runaway success in Japan thus far.”

Sony was up 1.34 percent at 827 yen.

Kao was up 0.17 percent at 2,303 after a report saying that the maker of home products will likely book a group operating profit of about 100 billion yen in the financial year to December. - Sapa-AFP


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