RTTNews - A mixed open is expected Friday for Japan stocks, on the heels of lukewarm results from Wall Street overnight. U.S. stocks were mixed, despite a series of better-than-expected economic data reports.

Japan stocks moved lower on Thursday, with a stronger yen hurting the major exporters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average was down 137.13 points or 1.39 percent to 9,703.72. Among the Nikkei component stocks, there were 46 closing higher, 167 were lower and 12 finished unchanged.

The broader Topix index was down 11.82 points or 1.3 percent at 911.21.

Among the major exporters, Honda shares fell 70 yen or 2.62 percent, Sony was down 80 yen or 3.13 percent and Canon sank 100 yen or 3.12 percent.

Other major electronics firms were also weaker, with Olympus down 20 yen or 0.91 percent, Panasonic Corp was down 36 yen or 2.75 percent, Sanyo Electric fell 8 yen or 2.88 percent and Sharp was down 24 yen or 2.29 percent.

In the steel sector, Sumitomo Metals was down 18 yen or 6.64 percent, Nippon Steel fell 16 yen or 4.20 percent and Kobe Steel was down 10 yen or 5.29 percent.

Mizuho Financial was the session's most heavily traded stock, with shares falling 10 yen or 3.98 percent on volume of 124 million shares. Among the other major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ was down 12 yen or 1.99 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui fell 20 yen or 0.51 percent and Resona Holdings declined 38 yen or 2.74 percent.

Overseas, U.S. markets moved broadly higher on the back of better-than-expected economic data, with the financial and health care sectors leading the way. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58.42 points or 0.69 percent at 8,555.60, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 0.34 points or 0.02 percent at 1,807.72 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 7.66 points or 0.84 percent at 918.37.

With the exception of China's, all of the other major Asia/Pacific markets finished lower on Thursday.

China's Shanghai Composite index posted a gain of 43.78 points or 1.56 percent to close at 2,853.90.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 307.94 points or 1.70 percent to 17,776.66.

The BSE 30 index in India was down 257.31 points or 1.77 percent to 14,265.53.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index was down 73.98 points or 3.65 percent at 1,950.99.

South Korea's KOSPI/Seoul Composite index declined 15.41 points or 1.11 percent to 1,375.76.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 51.38 points or 0.83 percent to 6,144.53.

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