Tokyo stocks fluctuate in early trading after negative start

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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fluctuated in early trading Friday, edging slightly higher after falling in opening deals on a weak lead from Wall Street.

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World share markets slipped Thursday as traders weighed signals that the Federal Reserve could possibly raise US interest rates in June.

Sentiment was further unsettled following the unexplained crash of an EgyptAir plane in the Mediterranean with 66 people aboard.

In foreign exchange, the dollar ticked up against the Japanese yen, changing hands at 110.07 yen against 109.96 yen Thursday in New York.

“A stronger dollar means we’ll see money leaving the emerging markets, cheaper oil, concerns creep up again in China and the credit markets,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.

“Overall, (it) could lead to more confusion in global markets… In the end, we’ll just have to wait for further (US) economic data.”

In early trading, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange edged up 0.15 percent, or 24.22 points, to 16,670.88, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares was 0.17 percent, or 2.24 points, higher at 1,338.80.

Shares of airlines tracked losses in travel-related equities globally on news of the EgyptAir crash.

Japan Airlines slipped 0.54 percent to 3,799 yen in early trading, while rival All Nippon Airways eased 0.54 percent to 326.4 yen.

Markets are now eyeing a meeting between finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven countries starting Friday in northern Japan for fresh trading cues.

US President Barack Obama and other G7 leaders are attending a summit in Japan next week.

On Wall Street, the Dow lost 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 was 0.4 percent off and the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 0.6 percent. AFP

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