Tokyo stocks flat by break

TOKYO:  Tokyo stocks were flat at the end of Wednesday morning trade, paring earlier gains that came after another record close on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 index edged up 4.73 points to 15,525.95 by the break while the Topix index of all first-section shares was unchanged at 1,285.01.

The index had opened 0.23 percent higher in response to news that the S&P 500 had closed above 2,000 for the first time following upbeat indicators on the US economy.

“A wait-and-see mood is strong due to uncertainty over the domestic economy,” Okasan Securities said in an online comment.

Research firms have recently downgraded their annual growth forecasts for Japan as consumer spending remains weak after April’s sales tax hike.

Investors were also cautious as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to reshuffle his 20-month-old cabinet on September 3.

Media reports have said he is likely to keep key ministers, including the finance and foreign affairs posts.

Wall Street’s bull run extended Tuesday after the Conference Board said consumer confidence rose for a fourth straight month to its strongest level since February 2008. Also, durable goods orders surged in July to a new monthly record, according to the Commerce Department.

The S&P 500 closed up 0.11 percent at 2,000.02, while the narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17 percent to 17,106.70, just short of its own record.

The dollar was at 104.04 yen in Tokyo midday trade, compared with 104.05 yen in New York Tuesday.

Source: APP