Japanese stocks presented a mixed picture Monday as the strong yen and lingering concerns about European nations’ debt put pressure on the benchmark Nikkei index.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 26.14 points, or 0.27 per cent, to close at 9,758.4 while the broader Topix index inched up 0.32 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 880.01.
The Nikkei’s decline continued from last week, which ended with Japanese stocks falling to a year low.
On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at 90.15—18 yen, up from Friday’s 5 pm quote of 89.88—89 yen. The euro traded at 1.2494—97 dollars, up from 1.2499—1.2501 dollars Friday, and at 112.64—68 yen, up from 112.34—38 yen.
Despite those declines in its value, the yen continued to be strong against other world currencies because of recent gains, which have hurt exporters. A stronger local currency makes Japanese exports less competitive and erodes exporters’ overseas earnings when the revenues are repatriated.