Tokyo stocks flat at break after three days of gains

 14 Sep 2017 - 9:20

Tokyo stocks flat at break after three days of gains

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks eked out marginal gains Thursday morning after three straight days in positive territory, following fresh records on Wall Street on hopes of movement on US tax reform.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.04 percent, or 7.80 points, to 19,873.62 by the break while the broader Topix index added 0.07 percent, or 1.07 points, to 1,638.40.

"The Nikkei average turned up this week on easing of three concerns -- worries over the North Korean threat, a deterioration of the US economy due to hurricane damage, and a further strengthening of the yen," said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities Economic Research Institute.

"But it lacks further trading pegs to chase higher prices," he said in a client note.

Wall Street hit fresh records Wednesday, boosted by petroleum-linked equities and hopes Donald Trump's tax reform could see the light of day after House Republicans set a September 25 target to release an outline plan.

Investors were also cheered by a weaker yen, which has tumbled from last week's highs against the dollar as concerns over North Korea's sixth nuclear test abated.

A strong yen can hit the profitability of Japanese exporters and tends to drive their stock prices down.

The dollar firmed to 110.49 yen on Thursday against 110.47 yen in New York and well up from the levels around 107.30 yen touched last week.

In stocks trading, energy companies rose, tracking rises in their US peers on expectations for higher demand for crude.

Oil explorer Inpex gained 1.16 percent to 1,082 yen while Japan Petroleum climbed 1.27 percent to 2,137 yen.

Toshiba fell 2.41 percent to 323 yen after announcing it had picked a consortium led by US investor Bain Capital as the leading candidate to buy its prized chip business.