Tokyo stocks open 0.58% lower

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened 0.58 per cent lower on Thursday, weighed by a stronger yen and profit-taking after five successive days of gains.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 85.31 points to 14,585.64 at the start.

The benchmark index achieved its longest winning streak of the year Wednesday, allowing room for profit-taking, said Nomura Securities equity market strategist Junichi Wako.

The upcoming US purchasing managers index for manufacturing activity, due out on Monday next week, will be the next important indicator to watch, he said.

"Stronger US data may help lift interest rates, the dollar, and eventually push Japan shares higher," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

A weaker yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases repatriated profits.

The euro fell against the yen and dollar on Wednesday on expectations that the European Central Bank will take more monetary easing steps at a policy meeting next week.

The euro fell to 138.31 yen early Thursday, down from 138.40 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon and 138.96 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

The single European currency fetched US$1.3591 Thursday morning against US$1.3590 in US trade Wednesday.

The dollar eased to 101.74 yen from 101.84 yen in New York.

Wall Street stocks Wednesday finished lower following mixed earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.25 per cent to 16,633.18. The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.11 per cent to 1,909.78, snapping a two-day streak of record closes.

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