Tokyo stocks open flat with eyes on US jobs data

AFP – Tokyo stocks opened flat on Friday in cautious trade ahead of closely watched US jobs data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down just 0.01 percent or 2.36 points at 21,700.09 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up just 0.02 percent or 0.29 points at 1,590.07.

"With a dearth of market-moving events as the US market was closed, Japanese shares are seen moving little," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market strategist at Monex, said in a commentary.

"Today’s trading will likely be dominated by a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the US jobs data," being released in the US on Friday, he said.

The dollar fetched 107.86 yen in early Asian trade, against 107.80 yen in London.

In Tokyo, some blue-chip exporters were higher, with carmaker Honda trading up 0.80 percent at 2,830 and its bigger rival Toyota up 0.27 percent at 6,887 yen.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 0.80 percent at 66,170 yen.

Oil-linked shares were lower after news that a supertanker suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions was detained in Gibraltar by British commandos.

Oil developer and refiner JXTG was down 0.75 percent at 524.2 yen and its rival Inpex was down 0.96 percent at 749.9 yen.

Japan’s household spending was up 4.0 percent year-on-year in May, the sixth consecutive monthly rise, government data released shortly before the opening bell showed.

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The boost in spending was partly helped by an unprecedented 10 days of holidays marking the enthronement of the new Japanese emperor.

US markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday on Thursday.

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