Tokyo shares close 0.95% lower on stronger yen

Tokyo shares close 0.95% lower on stronger yen

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell 0.95 percent lower on Monday, hit by weak US corporate results and a stronger yen, as Japan's latest earnings season gets under way.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 194.43 points to 20,350.10, while the Topix index of all first-section shares eased 1.08 percent, or 17.96 points, to 1,637.90.

Tokyo picked up a negative lead from Wall Street which fell on Friday as weak Chinese factory data and US home sales dragged the market down.

Spotty financial results among major US firms have heightened investor concerns as Japan kicks off its own earnings season.

Nintendo, Panasonic, Nissan and Sony are among the firms reporting this week.

"US earnings aren't good, with the strong dollar and commodity market weakness weighing on results," Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.

"And as this trend shows no signs of reversing, people are worrying about the direction of the July to September quarter." In Tokyo forex trading Monday, the dollar was at 123.41 yen, down from 123.81 yen in New York and well off the levels above 124 yen seen earlier Friday in Asia.

A strong yen is negative for Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive abroad and shrinks the value of their repatriated profits.

In share trading, Sony fell 1.69 percent to 3,632 yen, while Toyota slipped 1.13 percent to 8,183 yen.

Market heavyweight Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo clothing chain, firmed 0.03 percent to 58,270 yen, but mobile carrier SoftBank sank 0.57 percent to 6,912 yen.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.9 percent last week following a raft of earnings disappointments as Wall Street succumbed to lack of confidence.

On Friday, the Dow shed 0.92 percent, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.07 percent.

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