Tokyo stocks fall on global economic woes, strong yen, profit-taking weighs

08:51, April 19, 2010      

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Japan's Nikkei Stock Average snapped a two-day winning streak Friday as positive quarterly results from U.S. Internet behemoth Google Inc. did little to increase investor appetite as the market had already factored in such news.

Coupled with a resurgent yen and a lack of fresh trading cues the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 171.61 points, or 1.52 percent, from Thursday to 11,102.18. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 10.06 points, or 1.01 percent, to 988.84.

Brokers said that despite robust first-quarter earnings reports from the likes of global tech bellwether Intel Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., Google, who reported their quarterly profits on Thursday, failed to lift sentiment as market participants have already digested upbeat earnings reports of U.S. companies.

Analysts also said shares came under further selling pressure as the market's recent rise has primed it for profit-taking.

Coupled with this, investor consternation was further compounded Friday by the U.S. Labor Department reporting on Thursday that the number of claims for jobless benefits increased in the week ending April 10, and China announced measures to cool its real-estate market, sparking concerns about the sustainable pace of the global economic.

There are some concerns about China overheating," said Hiroshi Morikawa, a senior strategist at MU Investments Co., adding that, "people's expectations for U.S. employment have been too high."

Renewed concerns about Greece's debt woes following news that Greece may end up asking the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for financial aid, also weighed on investor sentiment Friday, brokers said.

Exporters slumped as the yen rose and Canon Inc., the world's largest maker of digital cameras, fell 1.36 percent to 4,350 yen and Olympus Corp. declined 1.45 percent to 2,919 yen.

Pioneer Corp. lost 2.11 percent to 1,391 yen, whilst Sony Corp. retreated 1.76 percent to 3,350 yen.

Tokyo Electron, the world's second-largest chip equipment producer, was a notable decliner on Friday falling 2.74 percent to 6,380 yen following the Nikkei business daily reporting the firm will likely post a worse-than-expected operating profit of 60 billion yen (645 million U.S. dollars)

A spokesman for Tokyo Electron, which is forecasting a loss of 4.5 billion yen (48.32 million U.S. dollars) for the year that ended last month, said the Nikkei's figures were based on the newspaper's own speculation. The company is due to announce its earnings on May 12.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. closed the week in negative territory, losing 1.35 percent to 802 yen and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. fell 1.38 percent to 3,220 yen.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp. marked another dark spot on Friday's Nikkei, shifting down 0.4 percent to 3,695 yen.

Toyota is facing renewed safety issues concerning its high-end Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle following a report in a New York magazine claiming the vehicles could roll over when cornering at high speed -- the possible glitch in the vehicle's electronic stability control system may also affect other Toyota SUV models, sources said.

Some 2.22 billion shares changed hands on the Tokyo exchange's first section, down from Thursday's volume of around 2.36 billion shares.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on by 1,256 to 320.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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