Nikkei 225 Slumps 1.63% on Trade Outlook, Stronger Yen

The Nikkei 225 opened lower Friday and fell further in the afternoon session, as investors mulled more trade talk from US President Donald Trump and a rising yen, the latter regarded as a negative in export-oriented Japan. Also, manufacturing PMI’s from mainland China, a major trading partner, indicated a slowdown.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 341.34, or 1.63%, to 20,601.19, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 204 to 17.

On the thin upside was e-commerce outfit Rakuten (RKUNY, 4755:Tokyo), up 1.98%, followed by Yahoo Japan (YAHOY, 4689:Tokyo), up 1.62%, and Odakyu Electric (ODERF, 9007:Tokyo, up 1.02%.

On the downside was chemical company Chiyoda (CHYCY, 6366:Tokyo), off 7.9%, and Mazda Motors (MZDAY, 7261:Tokyo), off 7.1%.

The Nikkei 225 is up 2.93% year-to-date.

In economic news, Japan industrial production rose 0.6% in April from March, reported officials.

The Tokyo’s core consumer price (CPI) index, which excludes fresh food prices, rose 1.1 in May year-over-year, well below the Bank of Japan’s 2% annual inflation target.

The national unemployment rate decreased to 2.4% in April from 2.5% in March, and the jobs-to-applicants ratio was steady at 1.63.

Japan retail sales rose 0.5% in April from a year ago.

In mainland China, the official manufacturing PMI for May fell to 49.4 from 50.1 in April, below the 50-line separating growth from decline.