Tokyo stocks close down

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JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed down 1.39 percent on Friday, weighed by poor US economic data and with a stronger yen dampening exporter shares.

The Nikkei 225 index ended at 15,095.00, down 213.49 points or 1.39 percent, logging its sharpest percentage decline in six weeks.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.81 percent, or 10.28 points, to 1,253.15.

Stocks had a bad morning and extended losses in the afternoon, but traders were not panicked.

“It's probably a bit early to be calling today's sell-off anything more than a routine correction after such a long period of consistent buying,” Investrust chief executive Hiroyuki Fukunaga said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.13 percent to 16,846.13 on Thursday following disappointing US spending data.

The Commerce Department said US consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose a mere 0.2 percent in May after a flat April.

Investors were watching the data for clues to how the world's largest economy was faring and when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

“The US economic recovery is proceeding slower than most people had foreseen, and it will probably take longer for the Fed to ratchet up interest rates as a result,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management.

The dollar fell to 101.40 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 101.70 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

Exporters, which are vulnerable to a strong yen due to the dent it makes in repatriated profits, were down, with Sony falling 1.40

percent to 1,679 yen and Canon off 1.88 percent at 3,277 yen.

Mitsubishi Motors closed down 0.35 percent at 1,121 after giving up early gains on a report in the Nikkei economic daily that it would begin supplying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with sedans for sale in Asian markets later this year.

Investors appeared to be unmoved by economic data the Japanese government released before the market opened.

The data showed consumer inflation jumped 3.4 percent year-on-year in May due largely to an April sales tax hike, while the jobless rate fell to a 17-year low of 3.5 percent in May.

(Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article) - Sapa-AFP


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