January 11, 2018 / 6:23 AM / a year ago

Nikkei edges lower as strong yen bites; cryptocurrency stocks tumble

TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average ended lower on Thursday, hit by declines in automakers and electronic component makers as the strong yen soured investor appetite.

Bitcoin-related stocks also tumbled after South Korea’s justice minister said that the government is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading.

The Nikkei shed 0.3 percent to 23,710.43.

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 1 percent and Honda Motor Co tumbled 1.9 percent.

The yen has risen this week after the Bank of Japan on Tuesday trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations.

Early in the day, the dollar suffered its biggest one-day drop in nearly eight months against the yen following a report that China was ready to slow or halt its purchases of U.S. Treasuries, but it regaining ground later as China’s foreign exchange regulator said the report may be based on erroneous information and could be “fake”.

Kyocera Corp fell 1.4 percent, Alps Electric declined 1.5 percent and Taiyo Yuden stumbled 1.4 percent.

Virtual currency trading company Remixpoint Inc fell 2.6 percent, point media business operator Ceres Inc dived 9 percent, internet services provider GMO Internet tanked 4.5 percent.

Banks continued to advance, however, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 0.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group gaining 0.5 percent.

The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 1,888.09. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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