Japanese Market Declines On Wall Street Cues, Weak Earnings

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is down sharply on Monday with investors pressing sales at several counters, tracking weak cues from Wall Street where the major averages ended notably lower on Friday amid worries about escalating tensions in Ukraine.

A slightly stronger yen and some disappointing earnings news too are contributing to the market's decline. The mood is quite cautious with investors looking ahead to some crucial financial events due later in the week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is down 166.9 points or 1.2 percent at 14,262.3, after declining to 14,224.5.

Nippon Sheet Glass is down over 8 percent. Yahoo Japan Corp. shares are down 5.5 percent after the company reported results that fell short of its forecast. Honda Motor is down nearly 5 percent following its guidance missing expectations.

Suzuki Motor, Nisshin Steel, Shiseido Co., Furukawa, Nitto Boseki, Alps Electric, Sharp Corp., NEC Corp., Nissan Chemical Industries, Olympus Corp., Japan Steel Works, Advantest Corp. ( ATE ), Softbank Corp. and Sumitomo Chemical are lower by 2.5 to 5 percent.

Shinsei Bank, Nissan Motor, Hino Motors, Sumco Corp., Fujifilm Holdings, Tokyo Electric Power, Casio Computer and Shizuoka Bank are also down sharply.

Among the gainers, NTT Docomo Inc. shares are up nearly 4 percent after the company announced plans to buy back as much as 500 billion yen in shares.

Okuma Corp. is up over 8 perent. JTEKT Corp. and Kikkoman Corp. are gaining 3.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Komatsu, Shimizu Corp., Fanuc Corp., Sumitomo Metal Mining, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and Mazda Motor are up 1 to 2 percent.

On the economic front, retail sales in Japan surged 11.0 percent on year in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday, worth 13.731 trillion yen. That was in line with forecasts following the 3.6 percent gain in February.

Sales from large retailers surged an annual 16.1 percent - topping expectations for 13.8 percent following the 1.3 percent increase in the previous month. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, retail sales climbed 6.3 percent - beating forecasts for 6.0 percent and up sharply from 0.3 percent a month prior.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 102 yen level in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 102.10 to the U.S. dollar, against Friday's close of 102.27 yen a dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan are trading notably lower, while Australia, Malaysia and South Korea are up marginally.

On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Friday, as worries about the situation in Ukraine and some disappointing earnings news weighed on the market.

The major averages ended the day firmly in negative territory but off their lows for the session. The Dow tumbled 140.2 points or 0.9 percent to 16,361.5, the Nasdaq plunged 72.8 points or 1.8 percent to 4,075.6 and the S&P 500 slid 15.2 points or 0.8 percent to 1,863.4.

Major European markets too closed weak on Friday. While the German DAX index dropped by 1.5 percent, the French CAC 40 index slid by 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index ended down 0.3 percent.

U.S. crude oil ended sharply lower on Friday, mostly on profit taking with declining global equity markets even as U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose more than expected last week. Investors largely ignored a better-than-expected consumer sentiment reading, amid the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Crude for June delivery ended down $1.34 or 1.3 percent at $100.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: ATE , DCM , HMC , NTT

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