Japanese shares edged down Friday morning as market sentiment was hurt by the yen's rise against major currencies and an unexpected drop in industrial output, according to dpa.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 15.81 points, or 0.16 per cent, to trade at 10,098.98 at the end of the morning session at 11:30 am (0230 GMT).
The broader Topix index was down 1.12 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 856.62.
Export-oriented issues declined as the yen rose, hovering around the lower-82 yen to the dollar. A stronger yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas and erodes repatriated revenues.
Shares in Sony Corp fell 1.55 per cent, Canon Inc lost 0.89 per cent and Toyota Motor Corp was down 0.14 per cent.
Also Friday, the government said industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 1.2 per cent in February from the previous month, the first decline in three months.
The drop was unexpected, with an earlier survey by financial news agency Bloomberg predicting a 1.3-per-cent increase.
The government also said the nation's unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month to 4.5 per cent in February, the government said.
Japan's core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, climbed 0.1 per cent in February from a year earlier, the first rise in five months, amid long-standing concerns about deflation in the country, the government reported.
On currency markets at 11:30 am in Tokyo, the dollar traded at 82.12-16 yen, down from Thursday's 5 pm quote of 82.41-42 yen.
The euro was quoted at 109.67-72 yen, down from 109.93-97 yen late Thursday, and at 1.3353-3354 dollars, up from 1.3339-3340 dollars.