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Canon, Elpida, Nissin Foods, Tokyo Electron: Japanese Stocks

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 190.86, or 1.9 percent, to 9,737.48 as of the close in Tokyo. The following were among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Chip-related companies: Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035 JT), the world’s second-largest maker of semiconductor equipment, sank 5.6 percent to 5,220 yen, the sharpest decline since Oct. 28, after Credit Suisse Group and Mizuho Securities Co. both lowered their equity ratings on the company to “neutral” from “outperform.”

Elpida Memory Inc. (6665 JT), the world’s third-biggest maker of memory chips, tumbled 8.4 percent to 1,401 yen and chip-equipment maker Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co. (7735 JT) lost 8.7 percent to 432 yen after their equity ratings were cut to “underperform” by Mizuho. The brokerage previously rated Elpida “outperform” and Dainippon Screen “neutral.” Disco Corp. (6146 JT), a maker of semiconductor grinding equipment, retreated 4.5 percent to 5,920 yen after it was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by Mizuho analyst Eisaku Ohmori.

Asunaro Aoki Construction Co. (1865 JT) increased 1 percent to 388 yen. The contractor said it will buy back as much as 2.1 percent of its shares.

Bridgestone Corp. (5108 JT) rose 0.8 percent to 1,485 yen. The world’s largest tiremaker raised its first-half net income forecast by 37 percent to 37 billion yen (413 million), citing increased revenue and higher prices overseas.

Canon Inc. (7751 JT) slumped 4.5 percent to 3,530 yen. The world’s biggest maker of cameras and office equipment was lowered to “underperform” from “neutral” by Kunihiko Kanno, a Tokyo-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group.

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. (4508 JT) dropped 2.2 percent to 1,334 yen. UBS AG commenced coverage of the drugmaker with a “sell” rating.

Nissin Foods Holdings Co. (2897 JT) advanced 2.2 percent to 3,305 yen, the highest since Nov. 10. The maker of instant noodles was boosted to “above average” from “neutral” by Tomonobu Tsunoyama, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co.

Scroll Corp. (8005 JT) plunged by its daily limit of 80 yen, or 18 percent, to 359 yen, the largest drop since at least November 1984. The mail-order company said it plans to raise as much as 2.09 billion yen by selling new shares and use the money to finance operations and repay debt.

Sogo Clinical Pharmacology Co. (2399 JT) surged by its upper daily limit of 7,000 yen, or 18 percent to 46,950 yen, the steepest advance since July 2006. The provider of clinical testing services said it will repurchase as much as 2.78 percent of its outstanding shares.

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