Nikkei fails to arrest slide as economic worries offset US relief
* Japanese stocks down 0.2 percent * Investors cautious on Europe; eye BOJ for response * Recruit shares rise further after strong debut By Thomas Wilson TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks declined on Friday morning, failing to arrest this week's sharp slide as investor nervousness about slowing global growth eclipsed relief over a set of upbeat data from the United States. The Nikkei fell 0.2 percent to 14,714.32 at 0128 GMT and is on track to post its biggest weekly fall since early August. It is down 3.8 percent for the week so far - one of the worst performing in this period globally as investors fretted about the health of the world economy. Wall Street calmed somewhat on Thursday after data showed a sharp jump in U.S. industrial production last month, and the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefit fell to a 14-year low. [ID: nL2N0SB0UW] The figures helped the dollar recover a little, pushing the yen down to 106.34, though that did not help exporter shares much in part due to the underlying concerns on the global economy. Investors were also cautious over signs of more financial and economic stress in Europe. Greek, Spanish and Italian bond yields rose on Thursday, sparking fears of a flare up in the eurozone's debt crisis - dormant for two years. [ID: nL6N0SB1S6] "I think the market is going through a healthy correction and the market will soon rebound. But we need to be cautious on Europe as Greek bond yields have shot up," said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre. Financial shares underperformed, with bank shares dropping 1.4 percent. SMFG fell 2.1 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 1.6 percent. Exporter shares were mixed. Toyota Motor Co fell 1.6 percent and Honda Motor rose 0.1 percent. With little in the way of market moving data out of Japan on Friday, investors continue to watch the BOJ for signs of how it may respond to the global turmoil. The Bank of Japan appears set to resist pressure for more stimulus measures or to accept that its inflation target is unrealistically high. [ID: nL3N0SA3ZL] But some expressed confidence that Governor Haruhiko Kuroda would act if necessary even if the BOJ stands pat at its next meeting on Oct. 31. "If they don't act, it will at some point be bad. But Kuroda is the person who you can rely on to not be behind the curve" said an asset manager in Hong Kong. Outperforming the market was staffing and media firm Recruit , whose shares rose 3.6 percent. The company debuted strongly on the Tokyo bourse on Thursday, highlighting a investor hunger for a slice of a large Japanese company with strong growth prospects.[ID: nL3N0SB04A] The broader Topix was down 0.4 percent at 1,191.09, while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell to 10,845.58. (Reporting by Thomas Wilson)
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