Japanese stocks fluctuated after a two-day rally as a stronger yen damped the outlook for export earnings, while a recovery in oil prices boosted commodity-related shares.
The Topix Index added 0.1 percent to 1,350.95 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo, swinging from a loss of 0.1 percent, after the measure soared on Wednesday to a one-month high. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.1 percent to 16,730.29. The yen traded at 113.50 per dollar after gaining 0.5 percent on Wednesday. Oil closed at the highest level in almost two months in New York.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. all see the yen ending the year stronger than where it started. And all three have revised up their 2016 forecasts as the yen gained 6.7 percent in the first two months of the year.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent. The underlying equity measure added 0.4 percent on Wednesday, extending an eight-week high, with banks and energy shares rallying for a second day as improving data bolstered optimism on the economy.