Tokyo stocks slipped in Thursday morning trade, giving up early gains as profit-taking offset another record close on Wall Street, although the weaker yen supported exporter shares. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 9.23 points to 15,360.74 by the break. The Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.19 percent, or 2.41 points, to 1,278.37.
US shares provided a strong lead after payrolls company ADP said the private sector added 281,000 jobs in June, up from 179,000 in May. The news buoyed dealers ahead of Thursday’s Department of Labor report on job creation and unemployment nationwide in June. On Wall Street the Dow added 0.12 percent and the S&P 500 was marginally higher, both hitting records for a second successive day. The Nasdaq was flat.
Tokyo’s headline Nikkei has added nearly 10 percent over the past six weeks but analysts warned that selling pressure was starting to weigh on the market. “Investors are anxious about the upcoming US nonfarm payrolls data, especially as the private-sector ADP data was really good,” Chibagin Asset Management general manager Yoshihiro Okumura told Dow Jones Newswires.
“That said, buying interest remains strong… stocks are still cheap. Investors are just looking for the next catalyst before jumping in.” Toshiba jumped 2.54 percent to 484 yen on a report that its US unit was nearing a deal estimated at almost $5 billion to build a nuclear reactor in Bulgaria. In other trading, Canon was down 0.45 percent at 3,306 yen, Toyota fell 0.56 percent to 6,174 yen and Sony dropped 1.22 percent to 1,700 yen. The dollar was changing hands at 101.87 yen in Tokyo, up from 101.77 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon. -brecorder