Tokyo's Nikkei Ends Flat Ahead Of US Jobs Data

Tokyo's Nikkei ends flat ahead of US jobs data

TOKYO, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 5th Augst,2016) - Tokyo stocks ended flat on Friday in a lacklustre session ahead of key US jobs data, but Toyota surged after a forecast-beating earnings report. The world's biggest automaker on Thursday reported a 552.5 billion yen ($5.4 billion) net profit in April-June, down 15 percent on-year but well ahead of estimates of 440.2 billion yen. The firm blamed a sharp rally in the Yen and falling North American sales for the decline, but the news was greeted Friday with a 2.96 percent jump in its stock price to 5,860 yen. Despite the market heavyweight's surge, the Nikkei 225 edged down 0.44 points to finish at 16,254.45.

The index lost 1.90 percent over the week. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares shed 0.24 percent, or 3.09 points, to 1,279.90 -- losing 3.24 percent since last Friday. The tepid close came despite a broad regional rally a day after the Bank of England announced its first interest rate cut since 2009 and a fresh stimulus package to counter the fallout from Britain's vote to quit the European Union.

"We're in a state of wait and see," Masakuni Fujiwara, chief executive officer at VistaMax Fund Advisors, told Bloomberg News. Although the easing by Britain's central bank is a positive for global markets, "it's a reason for the yen to strengthen.

In that sense it's not too supportive for Japanese stocks." A stronger yen hits the profitability of Japan's exporters. Attention now turns to the release later in the day of a July US jobs report, which will provide new clues about the world's number one economy and the Federal Reserve's plans for its own monetary policy. A strong reading would reignite speculation of an interest rate cut by the end of the year, which could put downward pressure on the yen, boosting Japanese shares. In Tokyo trade Friday the Dollar bought 101.08 yen against 101.22 yen late Thursday in New York. Energy explorer Inpex gained 0.97 percent to 796.7 yen, but crude refiner JX Holdings dipped 1.99 percent to 362.9 yen. Factory robot maker Fanuc fell 1.80 percent to 16,600 yen and Honda was down 0.70 percent at 2,904 yen.