Tokyo stocks fall by break


TOKYO (AFP) – Tokyo stocks fell Monday morning as investors turned to profit-taking following four days of gains, despite a positive lead from Wall Street.

US equities rose on Friday, following a better-than-expected jobs report and a gain in oil prices that lifted most petroleum shares.

The US Labor Department said that the world s top economy added a robust 242,000 jobs in February, although the data also showed a drop in wages.

Yoshinori Ogawa, a market strategist at Okasan Securities, said recent gains in Japan s equity markets mean that it is “at a level where we can easily get selling”.

“US wages not being as good as we thought may be a weight on the market, but the jobs data overall isn t looking bad,” Ogawa told Bloomberg News.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index sank 0.44 percent, or 75.02 points, to 16,939.76 by the break, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.82 percent, or 11.26 points, to 1,364.09.

Japanese shares have risen over the past two weeks. The gains come after a hammering at the start of the year, and Tokyo s two key indices are still down about 11 percent.

On Monday, investors weighed a decision by China over the weekend to cut its growth target for this year to a range of 6.5-7.0 percent.

In share trading, Toyota lost 2.10 percent to 6,098 yen, while mobile carrier SoftBank dropped 1.58 percent to 5,768 yen and Sony was 0.03 percent lower at 2,591.5 yen.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, a market heavyweight, bucked the downtrend, rising 0.29 percent to 34,510 yen.

The dollar fell to 113.64 yen from 113.79 yen in New York late Friday.



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