Japan Stocks Start Lower After String Of Wins

After making gains every day this week, Japanese stocks started Friday lower, weighed by choppy trading for the yen and a negative lead from the U.S. markets. The Nikkei Average was down 0.6% in early moves, though still up 1.8% for the week, while the Topix fell 0.4%. Although the U.S. dollar managed to ring the bell at �120 overnight, it soon lost ground to trade at �119.73, below its �119.92 level around the time of the previous Tokyo stock close. Many of the blue-chip exporters and other globally exposed names that had ridden the weak yen higher over the past week gave up some of those gains: Toshiba Corp. fell 1.1%, Kyocera Corp. dropped 1.5%, Renesas Electronics Corp. lost 1.4%, Softbank Corp. and Fast Retailing Co. gave up 1.5% each, and Fujifilm Holdings Corp. retreated 1.7%. Still, a few managed to snag gains, including a 0.6% advance for Sony Corp. , even as The Wall Street Journal said the hacking incident against Sony's entertainment arm had revealed more sensitive information than previously believed. Energy shares followed crude-oil futures lower, with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. down 2.2%, JX Holdings Inc. down 1.5%, and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. down 1.3%. On the upside, Itochu Corp. added 0.5%, with a separate Wall Street Journal report saying that it had joined Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group on talks to buy a state in China's Citic Ltd. . Airlines saw further gains on falling fuel prices, with Japan Airlines Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. each 1.2% higher.

Copyright © 2014 MarketWatch, Inc.