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2 months ago
Nikkei ends flat as dollar/yen steadies, makes weekly gains
June 23, 2017 / 7:38 AM / 2 months ago

Nikkei ends flat as dollar/yen steadies, makes weekly gains

* Nikkei gains 1.0 pct for the week

* Mobile phone companies underperform after NHK report

* Kawasaki Kisen drops after board members approved as planned

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average finished the session little changed on Friday as dollar-yen levels steadied after major economic events, while Nintendo hit new multi-year highs on ongoing hopes for a new title on Switch.

The Nikkei closed at 20,132.67, up 0.1 percent on the day. The index gained 1.0 percent for the week, its first weekly gains in three weeks after having touched its highest levels since August 2015 on Tuesday, supported by a fall in the yen and optimism over the global economy.

Exporters were mixed as the dollar steadied against the yen at 111.28, failing to provide catalysts. Toyota Motor Corp dropped 0.3 percent, Honda Motor Co rose 0.5 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd shed 1.0 percent.

With monetary decisions by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank Of Japan out of the way, investors were hard pressed to find fresh catalysts, traders said.

"It's like the market has started its summer holiday early," said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. "Even after the Fed raised interest rates, the dollar didn't strengthen against the yen, so investors are finding it hard to chase Japanese stocks higher."

Nakai said retail investors were seen buying certain stocks such as Nintendo Co, which surged 2.8 percent to its highest since 2008. The stock has stayed strong since it announced last week on Twitter that it would release Super Mario Odyssey for Switch on Oct. 27.

Underperforming the market were mobile phone carriers following an NHK report. The national broadcaster reported the communication ministry would conduct 'administrative guidance' to urge firms to improve explanations of their phone plans to customers before customers sign up for contracts.

NTT Docomo fell 0.1 percent, KDDI Corp dropped 0.2 percent and SoftBank Group slid 0.2 percent.

NHK reported the government's investigation found a 68 percent out of 300 shops probed showed they hadn't fully explained their plans.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha fell 4.5 percent after board members proposed by the company were elected at its annual general meeting despite opposition from an activist fund.

The broader Topix was up 0.1 percent at 1,611.34 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.1 percent to 14,332.34. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Shri Navaratnam)

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