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Tokyo stocks flat by break, Toyota up on US investment news

Jan 10 2017 07:31

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks were flat on Tuesday morning as a stronger yen pressured some exporters, but Toyota rose on news it is investing about $10bn in the US over the next five years.

The lacklustre session followed a drop on Wall Street driven by falling oil prices. European markets also sagged although the London market closed with another record as Brexit concerns battered the pound.

Sterling rose to $1.2171 on Tuesday after tumbling to a three-month low of $1.2125 on Monday.

Risk aversion spiked after British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted over the weekend that Britain would have control over its borders after Brexit, suggesting she would be prepared to quit Europe's trading zone to achieve it.

In other currency trading, the dollar was quoted at ¥115.58 on Tuesday morning against ¥116.07 in New York.

"It seems investors have started to sell off some of the positions they had built during the Trump rally around the end of last year," said Toshihiko Matsuno, a senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo.

"It's easier for exporters that were bought in the rally to be sold," he told Bloomberg News.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 5.78 points, to 19 448.55 by the lunch break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.12 points, to 1 554.44.

Honda shares were down 0.25% to ¥3 492 while Fast Retailing dropped 3.20% to ¥38 450 in reaction to a drop in December sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan.

Toyota rose 0.23% to ¥6 946. The company announced its major US investment plans on Monday, just days after US President-elect Donald Trump criticised the Japanese automaker for a previously-announced relocation of Toyota Corolla production to Mexico.

Japan's top pharmaceuticals maker Takeda rose 1.43% to ¥ 5 036 yen after announcing it would acquire US cancer drug maker Ariad in a deal worth more than $5.0bn.

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