Tokyo’s Nikkei closes down on rising yen, Huawei worry

17th January, 2019 11:12:04 printer

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower Thursday, weighed down by a firming yen, but banking shares gained to provide some support for the overall market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.20 percent, or 40.48 points, to 20,402.27 while the broader Topix index rose 0.35 percent, or 5.43 points, to 1,543.20, reports AFP.

A reported US criminal probe into Chinese tech giant Huawei was also seen weighing on the market, along with general profit taking, analysts said.

The Nikkei began the day in positive territory, following healthy gains made on Wall Street.

But trade on the Japanese index slowed as the yen gradually crawled up —although the currency stayed within a narrow band — and investors searched for fresh news.

A stronger yen hurts exporters and often drives down the Tokyo market.

The dollar stood at 108.92 yen, compared with slightly lower than 109.05 yen in New York.

Investors closely monitored escalating tension between Washington and Beijing, particularly after a fresh news report said the US Department of Justice was in the “advanced” stages of a criminal probe that could result in an indictment of Huawei.