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Nikkei declines as Dow’s winning streak ends

JIJI

Stocks retreated again Thursday, bruised by overnight falls in U.S. equities and the yen’s strengthening against other major currencies.

The Nikkei 225 average ended down 107.55 points at 14,298.21. On Wednesday, the key market gauge lost 19.68 points. The Topix dropped 4.86 points to close at 1,178.29 after gaining 4.80 points Wednesday.

Heavily weighted Nikkei components and mainstay large-cap issues met with selling from the outset after the Dow Jones industrial average retreated for the first time in six trading days, brokers said.

The key 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell sharply overnight, tracking European interest rates on speculation of additional monetary easing by the European Central Bank, which in turn drove down the dollar against the yen.

The TSE indexes showed some resilience in the morning thanks to buying on dips and buybacks as the yen weakened slightly from early morning levels, but the rebound was limited due to renewed futures-led selling, brokers said.

“The market reacted little” to Japanese gross domestic product data for January-March, said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

According to the data, released by the Cabinet Office just before the opening bell, real GDP grew 5.9 percent from the previous quarter on an annualized basis, a lot better than the market’s expectations.

“The focus of market players had already shifted to GDP in April-June and July-September,” Miura said, noting that the July-September data will be key to the government’s economic policies.

Losers outnumbered winners 1,102 to 585 in the first section and 119 issues were unchanged.

JGBs rise again

Japanese government bonds advanced further Thursday on higher U.S. Treasury prices overnight and the drop in Tokyo stocks.

The lead June futures contract on 10-year JGBs closed up 0.07 point from Wednesday at 145.18. Volume increased to 24,103 contracts from 22,546.

In late interdealer trading in cash JGBs, the yield on the latest 333rd 10-year issue with a 0.6 percent coupon stood at 0.595 percent, down from 0.600 percent late Wednesday, falling below 0.600 percent for the first time since May 7.

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