TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s leading share index is expected to open sharply lower on Monday, on track for its fifth straight session of losses, after a disappointing U.S. jobs report, while a stronger yen will weigh further on exporters.
“U.S. markets didn’t trade on Friday, but the main focus was U.S. employment figures, which were poor, leading the dollar to weaken, and that will have a negative effect on Tokyo trading today,” said Hiroichi Nishi, equity general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
Strategists said the Nikkei .N225 was likely to trade between 9,500 and 9,600 after losing 0.8 percent to 9,688.45 on Friday. The index was down 3.9 percent last week, its worst weekly performance in eight months.
Nishi said investors would keep a close watch for any signals from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech later in the day whether the U.S. central bank will offer further monetary stimulus after the poor jobs report.
U.S. payrolls grew by 120,000 in March, worse than the forecasted gain of 203,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.2 percent, down from 8.3 percent in February.
The dollar hit a four-week low against the yen at 81.23.
The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.8 percent to 825.71 on Friday.
The Nikkei is still up 14.6 percent this year, buoyed by a run of strong U.S. economic data and liquidity boosting programmes by central banks.
> Disappointing jobs report sends U.S. stock futures lower .N > Dollar falls after U.S. jobs data disappoint <FRX/> > Treasury prices surge on weak March U.S. jobs growth <US/> > Gold edges up; dull U.S. jobs data revives QE3 talk <GOL/>
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Panasonic executives are likely to take a sharp pay cut starting in July to take responsibility for the firm’s weak earnings, the Nikkei newspaper said.
Reporting by Dominic Lau and Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner