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Nikkei tumbles 230 points on yen rise

JIJI

Stocks turned sharply lower Friday, dragged down by selling over the yen’s rise and a lack of fresh incentives.

The Nikkei average tumbled 229.63 points, or 1.42 percent, to end at 15,967.17 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Thursday, it jumped 360.44 points. The Topix lost 19.38 points, or 1.48 percent, to close at 1,291.82, after rising 28.80 points Thursday.

The Tokyo market came under selling in the wake of a drop on Wall Street overnight and the yen’s strength, notably against the dollar.

Concerns rose over dismal earnings at export-oriented firms in Japan after the dollar slipped below ¥113, brokers said.

In early afternoon trading, the Nikkei accelerated its downswing and sank nearly 400 points due to position-adjustment selling before the weekend, brokers said.

Mobile carrier SoftBank Group dived 3.95 percent after a report that profits at U.S. unit Sprint Corp. fell in the October-December quarter.

Travel agency H.I.S. tumbled 6.13 percent, a day after its Huis Ten Bosch subsidiary, which operates the namesake theme park in Nagasaki, said its October-December operating profit fell 8.7 percent from a year earlier, brokers said.

By contrast, carriers ANA Holdings and JAL were buoyant on hopes for better earnings, after Japan and the United States decided Thursday to increase the number of daytime round-trip slots per day at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda for flights between the two countries.

Also on the plus side were Sumitomo Realty and Mitsui Fudosan, as well as railway JR West and parcel delivery service firm Yamato Holdings.