TOKYO, Feb 8, 2017 (BSS/AFP) - Tokyo stocks slipped Wednesday morning as an uptick in the yen hit exporters while energy shares dropped on falling oil prices.
Japan's main equity markets opened in positive territory on the back of a rise in New York, where the Nasdaq hit a record higher after Apple reported strong earnings last week.
But the dollar edged down to 112.12 yen from 112.46 yen, hitting demand for shares of Japanese exporters, which benefit from a cheaper currency.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed the first session down 0.19 percent,or 35.21 points, at 18,875.57, while the Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.11 percent, or 1.69 points, to 1,514.46.
Shortly before markets opened data showed Japan logged its biggest annual current-account surplus since around the 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
The indicator is the broadest measure of Japan's trade with the rest of the world.
Despite the upbeat sentiment, investors are keeping a wary eye on US
developments as well as uncertainty in France ahead of a presidential election.
"The increasing popularity of Marine Le Pen ahead of the French elections,coupled with growing disapproval towards the mainstream parties and general anti-establishment feeling in the US and Europe over the last 12 months could seriously add to the political instability in Europe," Craig Erlam, market analyst at forex firm OANDA, said in a commentary.
Le Pen on Sunday vowed she would put France first as she formally launched a campaign echoing many of the themes that propelled Donald Trump to the White House.
In the Tokyo trade, Suzuki edged down 0.06 percent to 4,397 yen and Honda slipped 0.02 percent to 3,540 yen.
Energy explorer Inpex dropped 1.4 percent to 1,059.5 yen while JX Holdings tumbled 2.58 percent to 517.2 yen as oil prices dropped around one percent.
Troubled air-bag maker Takata fell 2.79 percent to 452 yen while Canon was off 0.49 percent at 3,236 yen.
However, market heavyweight Fanuc, a factory robot maker, rose 1.15 percent to 21,815 yen.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)