RTTNews - A mixed open is expected Friday for Japan shares, following a lukewarm lead overnight from Wall Street.

Japan stocks were little changed on Thursday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average was down 10.16 points or 0.10 percent at 9.981.33. Of the Nikkei component stocks, there were 94 closing higher, 116 were lower and 15 finished unchanged.

The broader Topix index closed up 3.64 points or 0.4 percent at 940.65.

The steel stocks were stronger, with Nippon Steel up 21 yen or 5.65 percent on heavy volume of nearly 105 million shares, Kobe Steel rose 11 yen or 5.98 percent and JFE Holdings was up 120 yen or 3.72 percent.

In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ was up one yen or 0.16 percent, Mizuho Financial rose 8 yen or 3.07 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui was up 180 yen or 4.19 percent and Resona Holdings was down 22 yen or 1.46 percent.

Among the telecoms, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone was unchanged, NTT DoCoMo was down 1,400 yen or 0.10 percent, KDDI was down 19,000 yen or 3.71 percent and Softbank was down 26 yen or 1.34 percent.

In overseas trading, U.S. stocks rose after encouraging data was released on employment and retail sales, although the market's gains were pared in the final half hour of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 31.90 points or 0.37 percent at 8,770.92, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 9.29 points or 0.50 percent at 1,862.37 and the S & P 500 index was up 5.74 points or 0.61 percent at 944.89.

Markets were mixed in the Asia/Pacific region on Thursday.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 5.37 points or 0.03 percent at 18,791.03.

China's Shanghai Composite index declined 18.93 points or 0.67 percent at 2,797.32.

In India, the BSE 30 index declined 55.34 points or 0.36 percent to 15,411.47.

The Jakarta Composite index in Indonesia was down 19.23 points or 0.91 percent to 2,089.58.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index rose 4.51 points or 0.32 percent to 1,419.39.

The Taiwan Weighted Index advanced 105.10 points or 1.63 percent to 6,567.37.

On Friday's economic data calendar, Japan is scheduled to release final April numbers for industrial production and May consumer confidence data.

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