TOKYO: Japanese stocks fell, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average heading for a 10-week low, as a U.S. business activity index signaled slowing manufacturing and the yen strengthened after Spain entered recession, cutting the earnings outlook for exporters.
Sony Corp., a consumer electronics company that earns more than 40% of its revenue from the US and Europe, sank 2.5% . Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest bank by market value, slid 1.3% after 11 Spanish banks’ ratings were cut by Standard & Poor’s. Sharp Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays, tumbled 6.2% after forecasting a wider-than-estimated loss.
“It seems like the U.S. data is getting a little softer and this will likely weigh on exporters,” said Stan Shamu, a market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne.
The Nikkei 225 fell 1% to 9,427.60 as of 9:21 a.m. in Tokyo, set for its lowest close since February 17. Volume was about 7% less than the 30-day average. The broader Topix Index lost 0.8% to 798.20, with more than twice as many shares declining as advancing.(Bloomberg/T03/aph)