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Japanese shares fall on yen’s strength, unrest in Middle East

Posted by on February 28, 2011 0 Comment

Tokyo, Feb 28 (DPA) Japanese stocks declined in Monday morning trading as exporters were dragged down by a stronger yen and investors were concerned about unrest in the Middle East.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 65.65 points, or 0.62 percent, to trade at 10,461.11 while the broader Topix index was down 3.86 points, or 0.41 percent, at 938.07.

Tokyo stocks opened lower after the government reported lower-than-expected industrial output for January.

The government said the nation’s industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in January from the previous month, marking the third consecutive monthly increase.

But the figure was below the 3.8-percent rise forecast by economists in an earlier Kyodo News survey.

Investor sentiment was hurt as political turmoil continued in the Middle East, especially in Libya, a major oil producer.

On Sunday, while opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took control of more Libyan cities, Gaddafi insisted Libya’s capital Tripoli remained in his control.

On currency markets at 9 a.m. (0000 GMT), the dollar traded at 81.63-64 yen, down from Friday’s 5 p.m. quote of 81.82-83 yen.

The euro traded at $1.3732-3737, down from $1.3820-3822 Friday, and at 112.09-13 yen, down from 113.08-12 yen.

A stronger yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas and hurts repatriated earnings.

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