Japanese stocks fell, with the Topix index paring its first weekly gain this month, as investors await a breakthrough in Greece debt negotiations.
Resona Holdings Inc. slumped 2.1 percent after Mizuho Securities Co. cut its investment rating on the lender. Canon Inc. lost 3.1 percent. Japan Airlines Co. gained 1.4 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. boosted its target price on the stock. Department-store operator J Front Retailing Co. jumped 1.6 percent after raising its current profit forecast.
The Topix fell 0.2 percent to 1,667.03 at the close of trading in Tokyo, paring this week’s gain to 2.2 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.3 percent to 20,706.15, for a weekly advance of 2.6 percent after closing Wednesday at its highest level since December 1996.
“Investors are definitely in a wait-and-see mood today,” said Akio Yoshino, chief economist in Tokyo at Amundi Japan Ltd., which oversees about 3.74 trillion yen ($30 billion). “For Greece, we don’t have high hopes, but we’re not expecting a big disaster either. Japanese shares rose to highs recently, which is why we’re now seeing some selling.”
Talks over Greece’s bailout continue to se the tone in financial markets as investors await a resolution from Brussels with a deadline for the country to make debt payments expiring next week. Euro-area finance ministers reconvene Saturday after talks on Thursday were suspended without a result.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her fellow European Union leaders told their finance ministers to unblock Greece talks once and for all as positions hardened around conditions the country must meet to secure aid. European leaders agreed that everything must be done to find a solution on Saturday, Merkel told reporters in Brussels.
Japan’s consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 0.1 percent from a year earlier in May, a report showed Friday. The median forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for prices to be unchanged.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. The underlying gauge fell 0.3 percent in New York on Thursday amid the Greek talks and as energy shares slid.
Consumer spending in the U.S. increased in May by the most since August 2009, buoyed by gains in incomes as the job market strengthened, data showed Thursday. Filings for unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for a 16th straight week, a level economists say is consistent with progress in the labor market.
Resona sank 2.1 percent after Mizuho lowered its outlook on the stock to neutral from buy.
Canon slumped 3.1 percent, the most since April 28 and the biggest drag on the Topix. The stock went ex-dividend today, meaning investors lost their right to the next payout.
Japan Airlines climbed 1.4 percent to a record. Nomura raised its target price on the stock by 8.2 percent.
J Front Retailing added 1.6 percent to a record after boosting its current profit forecast by 4.7 percent.