Tokyo stocks close lower as yen’s rise drags down exporter issues

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TOKYO, Feb. 14 — Tokyo stocks closed lower Wednesday despite making gains in early trade, as the yen’s appreciation against the U.S. dollar dented investor sentiment and dragged exporter issues and the broader market lower.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 90.51 points, or 0.43 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 21,154.17, marking its lowest close since Oct. 12.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 14.06 points, or 0.82 percent, to finish at 1,702.72.

Issues here gained in early trade on the back of Wall Street’s overnight rise, market strategists here said.

But they added that when the Nikkei dropped below the 21,000 line in afternoon trade, investors became wary about the outlook for domestic issues following the recent affects of global volatility on the market.

Local market players also said the yen’s appreciation against the U.S. dollar further zapped market sentiment in later trade and sent exporter issues, which have a wide bearing on the broader market, lower.

Japanese firms exposed to overseas markets generally cheer a weaker yen as it boosts profits when repatriated and lifts earnings outlooks and overall competitiveness.

A strong yen does the opposite for Japanese export-related firms.

Transportation equipment, marine transportation and nonferrous metal-linked issues comprised those that declined the most by the close of play, and falling issues beat advancing ones by 1,581 to 432 on the First Section, while 52 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Wednesday, 1,842.29 million shares changed hands, dropping from Tuesday’s volume of 1,962.39 million shares.

The turnover for the day totaled 3,445.0 billion yen (32.07 billion U.S. dollars).

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