TOKYO: Tokyo stocks eased 0.19 percent Monday morning, with exporters hit by a stronger yen after disappointing US jobs data dampened expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates soon.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 36.39 points to 19,398.69 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.31 percent, or 4.86 points, at 1,559.30.
“We should see a correction in Japanese stocks as the stronger yen pushes down exporters,” said Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities.
“The US economy has hit a soft patch due to the stronger dollar and weaker oil. First-quarter earnings and gross domestic product probably won t be good,” he said.
The dollar fell to 119.11 yen on Monday from 119.62 yen on Friday after the release Friday of closely watched US payrolls data, which showed employers sharply cut back hiring in March.
The world s leading economy generated 126,000 net new jobs in March, half of what was expected and the worst reading since December 2013.