Nikkei falls for 4th day as strong yen hits; investors on edge before U.S. data

jueves 4 de febrero de 2016 22:00 GYT

* Nikkei down 4.1 pct for the week

* Toshiba tumbles on bigger-than-expected loss

* Yamaha soars 18 pct after raising forecast, dividend, announcing share buyback

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell for a fourth day on Friday and was on track for a weekly loss as investors are worried that a stronger yen could squeeze exporters' earnings, hurting automakers like Toyota and Honda in particular.

The Nikkei dropped 1.5 percent to 16,794.30 points in midmorning trade, after hitting an early low as 16,729.51, the lowest level since Jan. 26. For the week, the benchmark index has declined 4.1 percent.

The dollar traded at 116.89 yen, up slightly from overnight trade but not far from Thursday's two-week low of 116.525 yen. Investors braced for U.S. employment figures later in the day which might provide clues on the timing of the Federal Reserve's next move to tighten policy.

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 2.3 percent, Honda Motor Co shed 3.1 percent and Nissan Motor Co declined 4.0 percent.

"The biggest concern for the Japanese market now is whether the dollar will weaken against the yen further," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. "You don't know how U.S. stocks will perform after the jobs data release, so most investors are nervous."   Continuación...