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Mazda Leads Japanese Automakers Lower as Yen Strengthens

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Mazda Leads Japanese Automaker Shares Lower on Yen
The Mazda Motor Corp. logo is displayed outside a dealership in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi/Bloomberg

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Mazda Motor Corp., Japan’s most export-reliant carmaker, led shares of the nation’s automakers lower as mounting concerns about the European debt crisis drove the yen to the highest in almost three months against the euro.

Mazda declined as much as 9.1 percent to 100 yen, the lowest intraday level based on data compiled by Bloomberg stretching back to 1974. It traded at 103 yen at 10:56 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. All of the nation’s eight biggest carmakers fell, including Toyota Motor Corp.

“Mazda has a large exposure to the euro and may move easily by the currency’s fluctuation,” said Satoshi Yuzaki, a general manager at Takagi Securities Co. in Tokyo.

The euro weakened as Moody’s Investors Service cut its debt ratings on 26 Italian banks ahead of an economic report that may show Europe’s economy shrank for the first time since 2009. Greece, without a government for more than a week, must decide today whether to pay 436 million euros ($559 million) to bondholders who shunned last month’s debt swap.

Mazda produces more than 70 percent of its vehicles in Japan, out of which almost 80 percent are exported. That makes it the most vulnerable major Japanese carmaker to an appreciating yen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at jma124@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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