Tokyo stocks close down 0.29%

Tokyo stocks closed down 0.29 percent Tuesday as a stronger yen hit sentiment despite a positive performance on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 38.72 points to 13,529.65, while the Topix index of all first-section issues sank 0.16 percent, or 1.82 points, to 1,143.78.

The dollar, which came within a whisker of the 100 yen mark Monday, fell back in Tokyo on Tuesday, despite last week's Group of 20 statement that cautiously backed Japan's huge stimulus measures aimed at kickstarting the economy.

"A temporary resurgence in the yen is holding the market back thus far," said Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at kabu.com Securities.

"But the overall trajectory is still lower, so it's likely to be just a matter of time before the dollar reaches the 100-yen mark," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Corporate earnings reports are becoming more the focus now, but results are not going to reflect the fuller impact of 'Abenomics' for another two quarters," he said, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for huge government spending and monetary easing that has sent the yen tumbling and shares soaring.

The dollar was changing hands at 98.75 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 99.35 yen in New York late Monday. It had touched 99.88 yen early Monday in Tokyo.

The euro, which edged higher Monday after Italy re-elected its president in a move towards greater political stability, bought $1.3047 and 128.84 yen from $1.3062 and 129.77 yen in US trade.

Dealers ignored a pick-up on Wall Street, where the Dow rose 0.14 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.47 percent and the Nasdaq put on 0.86 percent.

In Tokyo share trade Panasonic lost 1.26 percent to 704 yen after a report in the Nikkei business daily it will cut about 20 percent of its domestic workforce at its flagging lithium-ion battery operations.

Heavy industries firm IHI was up 2.51 percent at 367 yen after saying its group net profit likely jumped 39 percent in the year ended in March thanks partly to a weakening yen.

Toyota fell 0.72 percent to 5,510 yen.

bur-si/dan