Tokyo stocks open 0.34 percent lower
Man walks past a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo - REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened 0.34 percent lower on Monday after the release of a set of data including figures showing Japan’s October-December GDP was revised down to a 0.2 percent increase.

The Nikkei-225 index was down 52.56 percent at 15,221.51 in the first minutes of trading.

Ten minutes before the opening bell, the government said Japan’s economy grew 0.2 percent in the quarter to December and 1.5 percent in 2013, slightly revised down from earlier data.

The preliminary figures showed last month that real gross domestic product — the total value of goods and services produced at home — expanded 0.3 percent for the October-December period and 1.6 percent in 2013.

The government also said Japan suffered a fourth straight month of current account deficit in January amid ballooning trade deficits.

The deficit in the current account, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the world, more than quadrupled in January from a year earlier, totaling 1.589 trillion yen ($15.4 billion) in January.

Analysts had earlier said Japanese shares would enjoy a modest boost after positive US non-farm payrolls data issued Friday.

“The labor statistics were good enough to keep faith intact for the US economic recovery, which is all that the market is really asking for,” SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires.

Wall Street stocks finished mixed Friday as the better-than-expected US jobs report lifted the S&P 500 to a new record, fending off anxiety over Ukraine.

The S&P 500 edged 0.05 percent higher to 1,878.04, notching its third record in four days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.19 percent to 16,452.72 but the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.37 percent to 4,336.22.

The dollar was quoted at 103.23 yen, almost unchanged from 103.24 yen in New York Friday.

The euro fetched $1.3884 and 103.23 yen, against $1.3874 and 143.31 yen.

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