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 ended flat on Friday, giving up the earlier gains that were driven the the yen hitting a six-year low against the dollar and the European Central Bank's surprise rate cut.

The Nikkei 225 index slipped 7.50 points to 15,668.68 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares shed 0.25 percent, or 3.18 points, to 1,293.21.

Upbeat expectations for US jobs data to be released later Friday helped push the dollar to 105.69 yen in early trade, its highest level since October 2008, at the onset of the global financial crisis.

It eased slightly to 105.32 yen in the afternoon, but still was up from the 105.22 yen late in New York.

“Ahead of important US non-farm payroll figures due later today, the mood is characteristically reticent,” Hiroyuki Fukunaga, chief executive at Investrust, told Dow Jones Newswires.

An equity trading director at a European brokerage said “foreign investors seem to be more on the net-sell side”.

“The potential for a negative surprise from US non-farm payroll data is too much to ignore with stock markets trading at high levels.”

The dollar was also boosted against the yen as investors shifted out of the euro after European policymakers announced a surprise interest rate cut and launched other measures to ward off deflation.

Sony shares fell 1.94 percent to 2,016.0 yen despite the weak yen as investors locked in profits after recent gains, while Toyota rose 0.45 percent to 6,115.0 yen.

Nissan slipped 0.29 percent to 1,020.0 yen, after the automaker issued a recall for about 178,000 vehicles in Japan, Thailand and other markets to fix a defective engine starter and brake system glitch. - Sapa-AFP