Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) fell 93.02, or 1.1 percent, to 8,629.15 as of the 11:30 a.m. trading break in Tokyo. The following are among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Machinery makers: Japan’s machinery orders, an indicator of capital spending, unexpectedly dropped 6.9 percent in October, the Cabinet Office reported today. The median forecast of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.5 percent gain.
Fanuc Corp. (6954 JT), Japan’s maker of factory automation systems, dropped 0.8 percent to 12,990 yen. Komatsu Ltd. (6301 JT), Japan’s largest construction machinery maker, fell 2.1 percent to 1,979 yen.
Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503 JT), a utility, fell 2.1 percent to 1,112 yen. It will shut a 500-megawatt nuclear reactor in Mihama, Fukui prefecture because of a malfunction, company spokesman Akihiro Aoike said.
Olympus Corp. (7733 JT), an optical-equipment maker, rose 2.8 percent to 1,160 yen. Olympus Corp. (7733) President Shuichi Takayama acknowledged Michael Woodford, the chief executive officer he helped fire, for exposing a cover-up of losses at the camera maker and announced a probe of about 70 executives that may have been involved.
Showa Denko K.K. (4004 JT), a maker of chemical products, rose 1.9 percent to 159 yen. Nomura Securities Co. raised its investment rating on the company to “buy” from “neutral.” Western Digital Corp. is expected to continue to buy Showa’s hard-disk products, diminishing risk Western would reduce purchases following the floods in Thailand, Satoshi Fujiwara, an analysis at Nomura, wrote in a report.
Sumco Corp. (3436) (3436 JP), a silicon-wafer producer, slid 5.8 percent to 632 yen after forecasting a loss of 9 billion yen ($116 million) for the fiscal year ending January, citing the yen’s appreciation of and sluggish demand for personal computers. The company previously expected a gain of 2.5 billion yen.
Token Corp. (1766) (1766 JT), a homebuilder, fell 5.5 percent to 2,604 yen. It cut its net-income forecast 7.9 percent to 3.02 billion yen for year ending in April 2012, citing a drop in construction revenue.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT), the utility at the center of the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, dropped 8 percent to 253 yen. Japan’s top government spokesman said Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Cabinet was debating Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s situation, and that it is “too early” for ministers to discuss whether to nationalize the utility.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, speaking to reporters today in Tokyo, said the company known as Tepco hasn’t approached the government to request public funds.
Tepco shares slumped as much as 17 percent, the most in six months, after the Mainichi newspaper today said the government will take the company over after the Fukushima nuclear disaster brought it close to collapse.
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