Nikkei Drops After Strong Yen Hurts Exporters, Mining Firms Soar

Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped to a 10-day low on Thursday morning as a stronger yen hurt exporters, although oil and mining stocks bucked the weakness, supported by firmer oil prices.

The Nikkei fell 0.8 percent to 13,754.10 in midmorning trade after hitting as low as 23,688.94 earlier, the lowest since Jan. 15. The index is below its 5-day moving average of 23,888.85.

 The dollar dropped 1 percent to a four-month trough of 108.965 yen before recovering to trade at 109.300 during Asian trade.

Transport equipment stocks tumbled, with Honda Motor Co sliding 1.2 percent, Subaru Corp falling 1.4 percent, while electronic appliance maker Panasonic Corp shed 1.2 percent and chip-making equipment manufacturer Advantest Corp stumbled 3.5 percent.

Banks also lost ground, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group both falling 1.0 percent.

Oil and mining stocks outperformed after oil prices hit their highest since December 2014, pushed up after U.S. crude inventories posted a 10th straight week of declines and as the dollar continued to weaken.

Inpex Corp added 0.3 percent, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co gained 1.6 percent, while Showa Shell Sekiyu advanced 1.1 percent.

The broader Topix declined 0.6 percent to 1,889.07.

Source : Reuters | Photo : AFP Photo/ Kazuhiro Nogi

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