Tokyo stocks end mixed in directionless trade, strong yen weighs

23:07, July 27, 2010      

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Tokyo stocks ended mixed Tuesday, with the key Nikkei stock index edging down despite some upbeat earnings reports from Japanese companies and positive housing data from the U.S.

Trade was largely directionless as investors hit the sidelines for more domestic cues as earnings season prepares to swing into full gear and a strong yen reduced the attractiveness of export- related issues.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished 6.81 points, or 0. 07 percent, lower from Monday at 9,496.85 having swung in and out of negative territory during both sessions, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange made modest gains, closing up 0.24 point, or 0.03 percent, to 846.12.

Brokers said that U.S. stocks' advance over night, after a surprising 23.6 percent jump in U.S. new home sales in June from May, did little to enliven the market as investors refused to be lured into a false sense of security.

Indeed some market players doubted the significance of the data, suggesting the world's largest economy may still not be back on track.

"The housing data isn't necessarily as good as it seemed. In some ways it was just a correction of the sharp falls the month before," said Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

"There's a bit of reassurance, yes, but we still can't yet definitely say that things are really improving."

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