January 12, 2018 / 2:52 AM / 11 days ago

Nikkei nearly flat, Fast Retailing's gains offset weak exporters

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average was nearly flat on Friday morning, with weakness in exporters countered by strong gains in index-heavy Fast Retailing after the clothing company posted record quarterly profit.

The Nikkei edged 0.1 percent lower to 23,692.99, hovering at its 5-day moving average of 23,692.18. For the week, it has shed 0.1 percent so far.

Fast Retailing Co jumped more than 5 percent and contributed a hefty 113 positive points to the Nikkei after it posted a 28.6 percent jump in its operating profit to 113.9 billion yen ($1 billion) for the first quarter, a record quarterly profit.

Exporters took a hit as the yen has stayed on the stronger side. The dollar was at 111.14 yen after plumbing a six-week low of 111.05 yen on Thursday.

Olympus tumbled 3.1 percent, Kyocera dropped 1.9 percent and Nissan Motor declined 0.6 percent.

The food sector was also weak, with Ajinomoto falling 1.5 percent and Kikkoman shed 1.2 percent.

The broader Topix shed 0.5 percent to 1,878.41. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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