Japanese stocks declined, sending the Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average to its first drop in a week, amid concern that the global economic recovery is slowing.
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Japan’s largest company by sales, lost 2.4 percent after the automaker said profit will fall almost a third this year following March’s record earthquake. Bridgestone Corp., Japan’s No. 1 tiremaker by market value, sank 2.5 percent. Inpex Corp. (1605), Japan’s biggest oil explorer by sales, slid 1.7 percent after oil prices declined.
“Downward pressure on stocks is building -- make no mistake about it,” said Hideo Arimura, who helps oversee about $2.2 billion at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “The consensus is bearish. There’s no good news coming out.”
The Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 9,448.21 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, the gauge’s first decline since June 6. The broader Topix lost 0.6 percent to 812.26, with about three shares dropping for every two that gained. The index has tumbled 13 percent since March 10, the day before a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast coast, triggering the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, disrupting supply chains, and leaving almost 24,000 people dead or missing.
Toyota sank 2.4 percent to 3,220 yen after the company forecast a 31 percent drop in profit this year, citing production cuts because of quake damage and a stronger yen. Net income at the automaker may fall to 280 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in the 12 months ending March 31 from 408 billion yen a year earlier, the company said in a statement on June 10 after markets closed. Honda Motor Co. lost 2.5 percent to 2,911 yen and Nissan Motor Co. slid 1.1 percent to 784 yen.
Manufacturers of tires and other rubber products fell the most among the 33 Topix industry groups, followed by carmakers and oil-related companies. Bridgestone sank 2.5 percent to 1,801 yen. Rival Sumitomo Rubber Industries slid 1.9 percent to 961 yen, while Yokohama Rubber Co. dropped 1.4 percent to 433 yen.
Japanese machinery orders fell for the first time in four months in April, an indication that companies are reluctant to spend following the earthquake disaster. Factory orders fell 3.3 percent in April from March, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. Orders, an indicator of capital spending in three to six months, were expected to rise 1.7 percent, according to the median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Oil companies declined after crude fell the most in a month. Inpex fell 1.7 percent to 578,000 yen and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., the nation’s second-largest oil explorer by revenue, slumped 1.7 percent to 3,835 yen.
Crude prices declined for a second day in New York before reports tomorrow that may show slowing economic growth in the U.S. and China, curbing fuel demand in the world’s two largest crude consumers.
Oil futures slid as much as 0.7 percent, after the biggest single-session drop in four weeks on June 10. Sales at U.S. retailers probably fell in May for the first time in 11 months and China’s industrial production slowed, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, was the most actively traded stock by value in Japan. The utility rallied 4.7 percent to close at 199 yen, after falling as much as 6.3 percent
To contact the reporter on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at email@example.com.