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Tokyo stocks close down 0.30%

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks lost 0.30 percent on Friday, dragged by a stronger yen ahead of a Bank of Japan decision to hold off unveiling any new measures to kickstart the economy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 41.95 points at 13,884.13, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.99 percent, or 11.59 points, to 1,161.19.

Exporters faced selling pressure after a moderate rebound in the yen against major currencies, brokers said. A strong yen makes Japanese goods less competitive overseas.

The dollar slipped to 98.70 yen Friday afternoon, while the euro sat at 128.59 yen, compared with 99.29 yen and 129.16 yen in New York late Thursday.

Some participants ere had already on the sidelines ahead of the "Golden Week holiday" starting with a three-day weekend, brokers said.

Traders had expected the Bank of Japan's decision to stand pat on any new policy measures as it wrapped up its first meeting since announcing a huge stimulus package this month aimed at stoking the limp economy.

The news from the BoJ came after the stock market closed.

Earlier Friday, data showed Japan's core consumer prices, which exclude volatile prices of fresh food, fell 0.5 percent on-year in March, highlighting the tough task ahead for the bank and the government.

This month, the central bank's new management team -- hand picked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- embarked on a new era of huge spending by announcing a massive stimulus plan to drag the economy out of decades of stagnation.

BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said the bank would do everything possible to hit a two-percent inflation target in two years.

"Improvement will take time, and so the numbers are not having an effect on stocks per se," Hideyuki Ishiguro, strategist at Okasan Securities told Dow Jones Newswires.

Toyota fell 0.34 percent to close at 5,710 yen because of the strong yen, but Sony gained 0.24 percent to 1,631 yen after lifting its profit view for the year that ended in March.

Japan Tobacco rose 2.71 percent to 3,595 yen after its record profit forecast.

In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17 percent following improved jobless claims data and a mixed bag of corporate earnings.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/tokyo-stocks-close-down-030-0