Roundup: Tokyo stocks close lower as yen's rise dents exporters amid wait-and-see mood

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TOKYO, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Friday after inheriting a weak lead from Wall Street overnight, with the yen's appreciation against the U.S. dollar negatively impacting exporter issues while dragging down the broader market.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 140.14 points, or 0.59 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 23,687.59.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 10.21 points, or 0.60 percent, to finish at 1,702.87.

Tokyo stocks opened lower, local brokers said, initially tracking an overnight fall in U.S. shares with investors in a circumspect mood ahead of the release of a slew of key U.S. economic data, including import prices, industrial production and consumer sentiment.

They added that the safe-haven yen's rise against the U.S. dollar also dented investor sentiment and weighed on exporter issues in a sluggish day of trade.

Some investors hit the sidelines, assuming a wait-and-see stance ahead of a three-day weekend in the U.S., although the market's bottom side was ultimately supported by a solid performance on Chinese bourses, market analysts here said.

Some cyclical issues highly sensitive to external factors lost ground, including industrial robotics maker Yaskawa Electric who closed 1.0 percent lower and counterpart Fanuc who lost 1.2 percent by the close.

In terms of issues moving on individual news, Nissan Motor skidded down 9.6 percent to a more than 10-year low, after the automaker slashed its annual operating profit forecast by 43 percent, owing to drop in sales and the fallout following former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's arrest and subsequent escape from Japan.

Semiconductor company SUMCO Corp. was a bright spot, however, climbing 6.9 percent, after forecasting its operating profit for the January-March quarter would drop, but demand for its silicon wafers would likely improve.

Toshiba Corp., meanwhile, closed the day 2.3 percent higher, after reporting its operating profit surged in the April-December period, owing to wholesale restructuring efforts.

By the close of play, iron and steel, land transportation, and pulp and paper-linked issues comprised those that declined the most, and issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,394 to 674 on the First Section, while 92 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Friday, 1.351 billion shares changed hands, rising from Thursday's volume of 1.235 billion shares.

The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 2,406.8 billion yen (21.92 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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