News Column

Japanese Market Trims Losses After Weak Start

July 8, 2014

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - After plunging nearly 130 points at the start of trading, the Japanese stock market is regaining a significant portion of lost ground Wednesday morning with investors indulging in some buying at lower levels.

The overnight decline on Wall Street and a stronger yen hurt sentiment and triggered some heavy selling at the start. Automobile, construction, glass makers shares were among the notable losers.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is down 25.4 points or 0.2 percent at 15,289.0, after declining to 15,185.3 in early trades.

Mitsumi Electric, Japan Steel Works, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Unitika are declining 2 to 3 percent.

Pioneer Corp., Nomura Holdings, Asahi Glass, Mitsui Chemicals, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Casio Computer, Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Nippon Electric Glass, Yahoo Japan, Shinsei Bank, Sony Corp. (SNE) and Mitsubishi Motors are down 1 to 2 percent.

Minebea Co. is reportedly looking at some mergers and acquisitions as it expects free cash flow to increase 16 percent from fiscal 2013 to the year through March 2015. The stock is down nearly 1 percent.

Among the gainers, Toho Zinc is rising 3.5 percent. Nippon Light Metal Holdings is moving up 2.7 percent. Nisshin Steel is up 2.5 percent following a rating upgrade.

Teijin, Bridgestone Corp., Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corp., NH Foods, JX Holdings, Kikkoman Corp., ANA Holdings, Sumco Corp., Kao Corp., GS Yuasa and MEIJI Holdings are all up 1 to 1.8 percent.

On the economic front, the M2 money stock in Japan was up 3.0 percent on year in June, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday - standing at 875.3 trillion yen. That matched expectations, and it also slowed from 3.3 percent in May.

The M3 money stock added an annual 2.4 percent to 1,187.0 trillion yen - shy of estimates for 2.5 percent and down from 2.6 percent in the previous month. The L money stock gained 2.8 percent to 1,549.5 trillion yen, slowing from 2.9 percent a month earlier.

For the second quarter of 2014, the M2 money stock gained 3.2 percent on year, while M3 added 2.6 percent and L gained 1.5 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid 101 yen level in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 101.55, against Tuesday's close of 101.80 yen per dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea are notably lower. Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia are down with modest losses.

On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Tuesday, as anxiety ahead of the start of the earnings season and lingering concerns about the outlook for the monetary policy prompted traders to take some profits.

While the Nasdaq plummeted 60.1 points or 1.4 percent to 4,391.5, the Dow dropped 117.6 points or 0.7 percent to 16,906.6 and the S&P 500 slid 13.9 points or 0.7 percent to 1,963.7.

Major European markets too saw significant weakness on Tuesday. While the U.K.'sFTSE 100 index tumbled by 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index both plunged by 1.4 percent.

U.S. crude oil moved down for an eighth straight session to end lower on Tuesday, ahead of the official weekly crude oil report from the Energy Information Administration after fluctuating for most of the session, amid easing fears of production disruption in Iraq and exports from Libya.

Crude for August delivery ended down $0.13 or 0.1 percent at $103.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after scaling a high of $104.20 a barrel intraday and a low of $103.01.

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Source: dpa-AFX International Compact

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