Stocks Fall the Most in Two Weeks on U.S. Home Sales, Yen; Toyota Declines

Japanese stocks fell the most in more than two weeks on concern the U.S. economic recovery may falter after home sales in the country unexpectedly dropped.

Toyota Motor Corp., a carmaker that generates 67 percent of its revenue abroad, sank 1.7 percent as the dollar and euro weakened against the yen. Mitsubishi Corp., a trading company that relies on commodities for 41 percent of its sales, lost 1.5 percent after oil and copper prices decreased. Nippon Yusen K.K. led shipping lines lower after a gauge of freight rates declined for an 18th consecutive day.

“Investors are avoiding risk because concern is emerging that the global economy will slow,” said Tomomi Yamashita, a fund manager in Tokyo at Shinkin Asset Management Co., which oversees about $6 billion. “This isn’t the right time to draw up an investment strategy.”

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.9 percent to close at 9,923.70 in Tokyo, the biggest decrease among equity benchmarks in the Asia-Pacific region. The broader Topix index lost 1.5 percent to 880.84, with almost eight stocks declining for each that advanced. Both gauges dropped the most since June 7.

The Nikkei 225 lost 1.2 percent yesterday on renewed concern Europe’s debt crisis will hurt the global economy after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut its forecast for economic growth in Spain, and Fitch Ratings lowered the credit grade of France’s biggest bank.

“I’ve already sold what has to be sold and I’m paying close attention to individual stocks,” Yamashita said.

The Nikkei 225 has risen 5.1 percent from this year’s low on June 9 as reports showed New York manufacturing grew, sentiment among American consumers improved and China signaled an end to the yuan’s fixed rate against the dollar.

To contact the reporters on this story: Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at mkondo3@bloomberg.net; Monami Yui in Tokyo at myui1@bloomberg.net.

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