Tokyo stocks open flat

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened flat on Thursday after a poor performance on Wall Street with the yen moving narrowly against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 index was down 0.02 per cent, or 3.55 points, to 14,542.72 in the first few minutes of trade.

The benchmark index is likely to trade in a tight range Thursday, traders said.

"The market continues to tread water, revolving around the 14,500 mark," said a broker at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Investors are likely to be even more on edge than usual with the bulk of Japanese earnings reports for the full business year to March due starting Thursday afternoon, he said.

"The Apple and Facebook results will help with overall sentiment, but good numbers from Japan corporates are expected," he said.

Apple on Wednesday courted investors with 7-for-1 stock split plans as hot iPhone sales pushed up profits. Facebook's results were also strong.

Investors are also watching for any announcement regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations later Thursday as visiting US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold talks.

US shares closed lower Wednesday, cutting short a six-day streak of gains by the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.22 per cent to 1,875.39, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.83 per cent to 4,126.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.08 per cent to 16,501.65.

The dollar was at 102.49 yen compared with 102.50 yen in New York on Wednesday afternoon.

The euro, which rose Wednesday after a positive report on business activity in the single-currency economy, fetched US$1.3816 and 141.61 yen against US$1.3816 and 141.65 yen.