Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tokyo stocks open marginally down

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks opened marginally lower on Thursday after New York closed flat on a mixed bag of economic data. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 0.09 percent or 7.74 points to 9,062.07.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up just 4.49 points (0.03 percent) at 13,107.48 on Wednesday amid fresh data that sent more mixed signals on the economy.

On the positive side, second-quarter gross domestic product growth was revised upwards to 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent, and data on pending home sales in July was strong.

But the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book survey of regional economies, a key input into policy decisions, gave a slightly less buoyant picture of growth since the prior report in July.

Currency markets were quiet as investors waited for a speech by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke on Friday.

The euro bought $1.2528 and 98.65 yen in early Asian trade, compared with $1.2526 and 98.61 yen in New York late Wednesday. The dollar was trading at 78.73 yen against 78.70 yen.

“The yen is unlikely to gain ahead of Fed chief Bernanke’s speech Friday,” which is positive for exporters, Rakuten Securities senior market analyst Masayuki Doshida told Dow Jones Newswires.

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