Japanese Stocks Fall as Builders, Steelmakers Lead Loss

Japanese stocks fell, with the Topix (TPX) index paring its second weekly advance, as builders and steelmakers led the decline.

Toyo Construction Co. slumped 5 percent, leading losses on the Topix gauge tracking the industry. Maeda Corp. (1824) fell 3.8 percent after Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lowered its rating on the builder of apartments and infrastructure projects. Japan Steel Works Ltd. slid 2.5 percent after a report the company may miss targets for profit and orders. GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. gained 1.4 percent on plans for parent SoftBank Corp. to buy the unit’s stake in a Finnish online game developer.

The Topix fell 0.4 percent to 1,286.07 at the close in Tokyo. The gauge surged 4.7 percent in the past two weeks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.3 percent to 15,539.19 after advancing the past nine trading days amid optimism that the U.S. central bank will keep supporting a strengthening economy. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak today at a gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“The Fed makes it clear that rate increases are dependent on the economy, meaning that they may refrain from raising rates should it lose momentum,” said Kenji Ueno, Tokyo-based senior investment manager at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management Co. “Japanese shares will struggle to extend gains unless domestic fundamentals improve.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained less than 0.1 percent today after the measure increased 0.3 percent to a record yesterday.

U.S. Data

Purchases of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in July to a 10-month high as low borrowing costs and an increase in inventory drew buyers. The Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators, a gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months, increased 0.9 percent in July, topping forecasts. The Markit Economics preliminary August index of U.S. manufacturing jumped to 58, the highest since April 2010, from 55.8 the month before.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government will consider investing part of its 4 trillion yen ($39 billion) of public funds in the stock market, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, without saying where it got the information. An advisory board of asset management experts will be created as early as next month, according to the report.

The Topix Construction Index fell 1.5 percent, the most among the gauge’s 33 industry groups, with Toyo Construction losing 5 percent to 476 yen. Yurtec Corp., which builds power distribution lines, lost 4.2 percent to 546 yen. Maeda lost 3.8 percent to 928 yen after Daiwa reduced its rating to neutral from outperform.

Japan Steel

Japan Steel Works slid 2.5 percent to 436 yen after SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. said the company is likely to miss full-year targets for operating profit and orders.

GungHo gained 1.4 percent to 580 yen as the online gamemaker is set to book a 7.59 billion yen gain from selling a special purpose company that owns a stake in Finland-based developer Supercell Oy.

Bridgestone Corp., which gets more than 80 percent of its sales overseas, rose 1.4 percent to 3,688 yen as the Japanese currency headed for its steepest weekly drop since March. The yen is poised for a 1.3 percent decline versus the dollar this week.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. added 1.7 percent to 1,167 yen after Credit Suisse Group AG said the automaker’s earnings would be boosted by renewed demand in Thailand and the rollout of plug-in hybrid cars in Europe.

The Topix traded at 1.2 times book value today, compared with 2.7 for the S&P 500 and 1.8 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday. Trading volume was 12 percent below the 30-day average.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.net; Yuko Takeo in Tokyo at ytakeo2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah McDonald at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net Jim Powell

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