Tokyo stocks close lower

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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 slipped 0.37 percent in lacklustre trade Monday as investors wait for Wall Street to return to action after an extended weekend.

The Nikkei 225 index, which ended last week at its highest level since late January, lost 57.69 points to finish at 15,379.44.

The Topix index of all first-section shares was down 0.42 percent, or 5.37 points, to 1,279.87.

“The market is technically overheated, making further gains harder to come by past the mid-15,000 level,” said Monex chief strategist Takashi Hiroki.

“It will take more positive US economic data, as well as further confidence in Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe's economic revival policies to enable the next upsurge.”

The Japanese premier recently unveiled more growth plans - including cutting corporate taxes - as he looks to cement a recovery in the world's number three economy.

New York markets were closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

Currency markets were also calm, with the dollar changing hands at 102.09 yen in Tokyo Monday afternoon against 102.08 yen on Friday.

“There is a dearth of trading cues this week, which compounds the lack of participation brought on by the US holiday,” said Chibagin Asset Management general manager, Yoshihiro Okumura.

“This will likely make the market increasingly susceptible to traditional currency movements and US stock moves,” Okumura told Dow Jones Newswires.

“There aren't a lot of investors who are willing to bid up the Nikkei to new 2014 highs,” he added.

Toyota shares slipped 0.49 percent to 6,170 yen, while Sony rose 0.58 percent to 1,730 yen.

Retail gaint Aeon tumbled 5.10 percent to 1,190 yen after it announced a 35 percent fall in April-June operating profit. - Sapa-AFP



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