Japan inflation, revised US GDP figures eyed by Tokyo investors

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TOKYO : Japanese inflation and revised US GDP data will be among the key trading cues for Tokyo investors after a topsy-turvy week that saw the benchmark index stage a big rally.

On Friday Japanese markets closed down sharply as a stronger yen  dented exporters and another fall in oil prices hammered commodity and energy shares.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.42 percent or 229.63 points to close at 15,967.17.

Economists widely expect another weak inflation numer, far below the Bank of Japan’s 2.0 percent target, as officials struggle to convince cautious firms to usher in big wage hikes to boost consumer spending and and widely expect no significant improvement in the inflation rate from December, when the figure ticked in at a meagre 0.1 percent.

Traders will also be keeping tabs on the latest US data, including new home sales and consumer confidence, as well as the second estimate of gross domestic product for the last quarter of 2015.

US crude dropped after news that American stockpiles rose to the highest in more than eight decades, reigniting concerns about demand and broader worries about the global economy.

In response, Japanese energy explorer Inpex tumbled 9.40 percent to close at 866.6 yen, while JX Holdings was off more than three percent to end at 447 yen.

However, the Nikkei tacked on 6.79 percent over the week, after surging more than seven percent on Monday in a rebound from a bloodletting on global markets.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares dropped 1.48 percent, or 19.38 points, to 1,291.82 Friday. It was up 7.99 percent this week.

Weak sentiment on Friday pushed up the yen which is a negative for shares of Japanese exporters, as the dollar slipped to 113.13 yen from 113.24 yen on Thursday in New York.

Agencies

 

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