January 11, 2018 / 2:34 AM / a year ago

Nikkei edges lower as strong yen bites; banks higher

TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged lower on Thursday morning, hit by declines in automakers and electronic component makers as the strong yen soured investor appetite.

The Nikkei shed 0.4 percent to 23,705.47 in midmorning trade, after hitting as low as 23,601.84.

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 1.4 percent, Honda Motor Co tumbled 2.0 percent and Mazda Motor shed 0.6 percent.

The yen has risen this week after the Bank of Japan on Tuesday trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations. Early in the day, the dollar suffered its biggest one-day drop in nearly eight months against the yen following a report that China was ready to slow or halt its purchases of U.S. Treasuries, before regaining some ground later.

Kyocera Corp fell 1.4 percent, Alps Electric declined 1.7 percent and Taiyo Yuden stumbled 2.3 percent.

Banks continued to advance, however, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 0.4 percent and Mizuho Financial Group gaining 0.7 percent.

The broader Topix dropped 0.4 percent to 1,883.96.

Editing by Sam Holmes

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