TOKYO, May 31 ― Tokyo stocks eased today after strong rallies in the previous session with rising US yields worrying investors.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.33 per cent, or 89.63 points, at 27,279.80, while the broader Topix index gave up 0.51 per cent, or 9.77 points, to 1,912.67.

The dollar stood at ¥127.79 (RM4.38), against ¥127.59 in London, with US markets closed for Memorial Day.

After adding more than two per cent yesterday, the Nikkei started the session lower and struggled to find a sense of direction throughout the day, analysts said.

Rising US treasury yields and surging oil prices encouraged selling, but “the market struggled to find cues” with Wall Street off on Monday, Okasan Online Securities said.

Meanwhile, fresh data showed that the contraction gripping Chinese manufacturing slowed in May from the previous month, providing support for global investor sentiment.

Ahead of the opening bell, the Japanese government said the unemployment rate stood at 2.5 per cent in April.

Also in April, retail sales values picked up by a seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent and factory production dropped 1.3 per cent.

“While employment recovered sharply... the weakness in both goods production and goods consumption last month suggests that the economy's (second quarter) rebound could be more muted than expected,” Capital Economics said.

Sony Group added 1.00 per cent to ¥12,115, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing added 0.57 per cent to ¥61,950. Nintendo gave up 1.56 per cent to ¥57,420.

Advantest, which makes testing tools for semiconductors, rose 1.25 per cent to ¥8,900, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group lost 1.16 per cent to ¥729.7. ― AFP