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Tokyo's Nikkei declines as yen hits exporters

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) The Nikkei share average fell 0.81 percent on Friday as shares in Toyota Motor Corp. and other exporters declined after the yen advanced against the dollar.

The yen was at around 116.67 yen to the U.S. currency after rising more than 1 percent on Thursday, when Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui reiterated that the central bank would eventually raise interest rates, raising concern the dollar's yield advantage will erode this year.

''The currency movement can't really be helped, considering the comments (by Fukui),'' said Katsuhiko Kodama, a senior strategist at Toyo Securities.

''This is something we'll want to pay attention to.'' The Nikkei was down 129.62 points at 15,966.48 as of 0106 GMT. The broader TOPIX index was down 0.43 percent at 1,633.45.

Toyota, the world's second-largest auto maker, was down 1.3 percent at 6,270 yen. A stronger yen is a minus for exporters because it eats into profits when dollar-denominated earnings are brought home.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan's third-largest auto maker, fell 1.9 percent to 6,900 yen.

Entertainment and electronics conglomerate Sony Corp. fell 1.1 percent to 5,570 yen.

REUTERS PDS VP0730

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