Japan Stocks: Steelmakers, Aeon, Resona, Ryohin Keikaku, Ulvac

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 30.36, or 0.3 percent, to 10,510.68 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.

Steelmakers: Japan’s steel industry was raised to “overweight” from “marketweight” at Credit Suisse Group.

Nippon Steel Corp. (5401 JT) gained 3.8 percent to 303 yen while JFE Holdings Inc. (5411 JT) increased 2.5 percent to 2,907 yen after the companies were raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at the brokerage. Kobe Steel Ltd. (5406 JT) advanced 1.9 percent to 216 yen as the brokerage increased its rating on the company to “neutral” from “underperform.” Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (5405 JT) rose 1.5 percent to 201 yen.

Aeon Co. (8267 JT), Japan’s second-largest retailer by market value, gained 2.9 percent to 1,051 yen. The company booked net income of 49.1 billion yen for the March-November period, compared with a loss of 9.93 billion yen a year earlier.

Cosmos Pharmaceutical Corp. (3349 JT), a drugstore operator, rallied 3.2 percent to 3,275 yen, the highest close since May 2006. The company was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group.

Elpida Memory Inc. (6665 JT), the world’s third-largest maker of computer memory chips, declined 3.8 percent to 1,001 yen. The Nikkei newspaper said the company may report an operating loss of more than 20 billion yen ($241 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 as computer memory prices declined.

GCA Savvian Group Corp. (2174 JT), a takeover advisory company, surged 6.2 percent to 100,000 yen. The company plans to resume dividend payments this year as fee income from mergers and acquisitions rises.

Geo Corp. (2681 JT), an operator of stores that rent and sell videos and CDs, jumped 4.2 percent to 98,800 yen. The company said same-store sales rose 2.7 percent in December from a year ago.

JGC Corp. (1963 JT), a plant-engineering company, rose 3 percent to 1,904 yen, a level not seen since October 2009. The company said on its website it won a multibillion dollar order to build a gas-processing plant in Qatar.

Musashino Bank Ltd. (8336 JT), a regional bank, tumbled 6.8 percent to 2,348 yen, falling the most since November 2008. The company said Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and four other shareholders plan to sell 1.8 million shares in Musashino Bank to the public.

Onward Holdings Co. (8016 JT), an apparel maker, leapt 4.3 percent to 748 yen. The company said net income for the nine months ended Nov. 30 jumped 74 percent from a year earlier to 4.69 billion yen.

Resona Holdings Inc. (8308 JT), Japan’s fourth-largest bank, plunged 7.3 percent to 485 yen. The company will raise as much as 575 billion yen selling shares in a global public offering this month to repay government bailout funds, the bank said in a filing to the Finance Ministry.

Ryohin Keikaku Co. (7453 JT), the operator of the Muji retail chain, jumped 6.8 percent to 3,790 yen, a level not seen since May 24. The company had its share price estimates increased at UBS AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Start Today Co. (3092 JT), an operator of clothes-shopping websites, soared 7.7 percent to 372,500 yen, the highest close since its listing in December 2007. The company said sales of its e-commerce business totaled 6.66 billion yen in December, up 60 percent from a year earlier.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (5110 JT), Japan’s second-largest tiremaker by market value, gained 2.1 percent to 885 yen. The company was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Toho Holdings Co. (8129 JT), a wholesaler of medicine and medical tools, increased 2.2 percent to 1,167 yen. Itochu Corp. (8001 JT), a trading company, gained 1.5 percent to 882 yen. The companies jointly formed a venture with China’s drug wholesaler Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. (600998 CH) to wholesale Japanese drugs and medical equipment in China, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Ulvac Inc. (6728 JT), a maker of vacuum devices for semiconductors, slumped 5.2 percent to 2,264 yen, the steepest drop since May 14. The company had its rating reduced to “neutral” from “buy” at Nomura Holdings Inc.

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