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Nikkei falls on exporters; CPI lifts yen briefly

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Mar 3 (Reuters) The Nikkei share average fell 0.57 percent on Friday as investors sold shares in exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp. after the yen rose briefly in response to stronger-than-expected consumer price data.

The yen strengthened briefly to 115.60 per dollar near a one-month high of 115.45 hit earlier in the week, after government data released before the opening showed Japan's nationwide core consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.5 percent in January from a year earlier. But the Japanese currency quickly gave up those gains, easing back towards 116 yen to the dollar.

A Reuters poll of economists had produced a median forecast of a 0.4 percent rise. The data marked the third straight month of gains and increased chances that the Bank of Japan will end its ultra-easy monetary policy sooner than had previously been thought.

The Nikkei was down 90.46 points at 15,819.30 as of 0003 GMT.

The broader TOPIX index was down 0.55 percent at 1,623.23.


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