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TOKYO: Tokyo’s key Nikkei index closed flat Thursday, following a mixed US close after much-anticipated US consumer price data matched market expectations, with investors watching corporate earnings reports in Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.02 percent, or 4.54 points, at 29,126.72, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.14 percent, or 2.82 points, to 2,083.09.

“As the dollar-yen is tipping towards a strong yen, export-related shares are facing sell orders,” IwaiCosmo Securities said in a note.

US long-term yields lowered following an easing of worries about inflation after the US consumer price index (CPI) was in line with market expectations, analysts said.

That in turn led to a higher yen against the dollar.

The greenback fetched 134.25 yen in Asian trade, down from 134.34 yen in New York and 135.34 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow ended 0.1 percent lower, but the S&P 500 added 0.5 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 1.0 percent.

The US CPI, a key inflation gauge, rose 4.9 percent from a year ago in April, just slightly lower than March’s 5.0 percent figure.

While the report showed that inflation was still well above the Federal Reserve’s target, analysts said the improvement might be good enough to halt additional rate hikes.

The US debt ceiling impasse is becoming more of a worry to investors, analysts added.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group closed down 0.85 percent at 5,138 yen.

After the market close, the company said it had booked an annual net loss of over $7.2 billion after a bruising year for the tech startup sector in which it has heavily invested.

Honda lost 1.94 percent to 3,582 yen. After the closing bell, the carmaker reported a 1.7 percent decline in its annual net loss for the past year to March, but for the current year it forecasts a 15.1 percent jump in net profit on-year.

Nissan slipped 0.28 percent to 505.8 yen, ahead of its earnings report due later in the day.

Panasonic jumped 5.98 percent to 1,374.5 yen after it announced a better-than-expected fourth-quarter operating profit and an optimistic full-year profit forecast.

Toyota declined 0.80 percent to 1,916 yen and shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines dropped 1.23 percent to 3,205 yen, while Nippon Steel gained 1.59 percent to 2,870 yen.

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