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Tokyo stocks open lower ahead of US jobs data

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday, with investors wary after recent rises and ahead of the release of a key US jobs report later in the day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose for four consecutive sessions to Thursday to its highest level in more than three months, slipped 0.25 percent or 56.26 points to 22,639.48 in early trade.

The broader Topix index was down 0.16 percent or 2.50 points at 1,601.32.

A weak yen will offer support, "but there is a strong sense that the market is overheating," Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Selling on the recent rally is expected, pressuring the market, it said.

Global stock markets have risen as "they tend to focus on the direction of the economy rather than on where it is now," said Mutsumi Kagawa, chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities.

But the May US jobs data is expected to show a spike in unemployment, which "could remind stock markets of how bad the real economy is," he warned in a commentary.

The report will likely show national unemployment increasing to closer to 20 percent from 14.7 percent in April, the highest unemployment rate in 90 years.

The dollar was holding firm, changing hands at 109.16 yen early Friday, unchanged from New York Thursday afternoon.

In Tokyo trade, Sony lost 1.47 percent to 7,160 yen while Toyota gained 0.15 percent to 6,985 yen.

Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing fell 1.12 percent to 63,080 yen.

Topics: Tokyo , Economy , Stocks , Okasan Online Securities , Nikkei 225 index
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