Japanese stocks fell for a fourth day, erasing earlier gains after comments from the Bank of Japan chief sent the yen soaring the most in three months.
Exporters fell, with Mazda Motor Corp. reversing a 0.9 percent advance to close 1.7 percent lower after BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it’s hard to see the currency falling more. Airlines sunk as crude prices rose, while oil explorer Inpex Corp. climbed 1.9 percent, leading energy producers higher.
The Topix index fell 0.4 percent to 1,628.23 at the close in Tokyo, erasing gains of as much as 0.8 percent before Kuroda’s remarks in the afternoon. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.3 percent to 20,046.36. The yen jumped 1.2 percent to 122.83 per dollar, the most since March.
“The stock market was already in a wait-and-see mood, so when such a prominent official made a remark about the currency rate, stocks moved in tandem and accelerated the correction,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, a general manager at Chiba-Gin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.
Kuroda told parliament the yen’s real effective return rate was already weak. He was referring to a measure that’s adjusted for inflation and trade with other nations. His comments underscore the view that policy makers in Japan aren’t seeking further declines in the yen.
Exporters fell, with Mazda losing 1.7 percent to close at its lowest in three weeks. Nissan Motor Co., which gets 83 percent of sales abroad, retreated 1.3 percent.
Gas utility companies, which rely on imports of natural gas, extended gains after Kuroda’s remarks. Osaka Gas Co. added 3.5 percent and Shizuoka Gas Co. rose 3 percent.
Kuroda “may have determined that the pace of yen declines was impacting importing companies or mid-to-small sized firms,” said Masashi Akutsu, a strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
Oil extended its biggest advance this month on signs a slowdown in U.S. drilling is reducing a crude supply glut in the world’s biggest consumer. Futures climbed as much as 1.6 percent in New York after rising 3.4 percent on Tuesday.
Energy shares rose, with Inpex adding 1.9 percent, while oil servicing firm JGC Corp. climbed 1.4 percent.
Transport stocks fell on the prospect for higher fuel costs, with airline ANA Holdings Inc. tumbling 1.5 percent.
Reports Wednesday showed Japanese machinery orders rose 3.8 percent in April from March. Economists had forecast a 2.1 percent drop. Producer prices added 0.3 percent in May from a month earlier.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge of U.S. equities closed little changed on Tuesday as banks rallied amid higher bond yields, while airlines weighed on transportation shares and technology companies slipped.