Japanese stocks fell, with the Topix index dropping for the first time in eight days, as a stronger yen dragged exporters lower and suppliers to Apple Inc. declined after the smartphone maker posted weaker-than-expected results.
Japan Display Inc., which counts Apple as its biggest customer, sank 4.1 percent, while smartphone backlights-maker Minebea Co. dropped 3.3 percent. Exporter TDK Corp. declined 2.6 percent after the yen strengthened. Toshiba Corp. fell 1.7 percent amid the fallout from its accounting scandal. Mitsui Chemicals Co. soared 12 percent, the most in four years, after revising its profit outlook higher.
The Topix sank 1.1 percent to 1,655.37 at the close in Tokyo, after rising almost 6 percent from July 9 through Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 1.2 percent to 20,593.67. The yen strengthened 0.2 percent to 123.65 per dollar, adding to Tuesday’s gain of 0.3 percent. Apple shares slumped in extended U.S. trading after its revenue forecast missed estimates.
The yen rose against the greenback as traders pared “some short-term overbuying” of the U.S. currency, said Hiroichi Nishi, a manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo. “My view that the U.S. economy is gently recovering hasn’t changed, but earnings from companies such as Apple weren’t good, and it’s easier to take profit in exporters such as electronic-parts companies.”
Apple forecast revenue of $49 billion to $51 billion in the quarter through September, below analyst estimates for $51.1 billion. The company said it sold 47.5 million iPhones in the period through June, while analyst had anticipated 48.8 million shipments.
Any indication of slowing demand for iPhones could spark concern that Apple is going to have a hard time selling more smartphones in the final months of the year, after the September debut of the latest version fueled record profits. That concern could ripple through Japanese suppliers, including Japan Display and Minebea, which each slumped more than 3 percent.
A stronger yen compounded losses for some of Apple’s suppliers. Hirose Electric Co., which manufactures flexible printed circuits for smartphones and gets about 70 percent of revenue outside of Japan, declined 1.9 percent. TDK, which gets more than 91 percent of sales abroad, slid 2.6 percent.
Toshiba fell 1.7 percent, paring yesterday’s gain, after several executives resigned over an accounting scandal at the Japanese industrial conglomerate that makes everything from refrigerators to nuclear reactors. Shares reversed gains from the morning session after Bloomberg reported the company may be at risk of regulatory fines and investor lawsuits for selling stocks and bonds on inflated earnings statements.
Mitsui Chemicals soared 12 percent after revising its first-half operating profit forecast to 33 billion yen from 18 billion yen, citing growth in its petrochemicals business in North and Central America.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.4 percent after the underlying measure slipped 0.4 percent Tuesday. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 Index, which counts Apple as its heaviest-weighted member, lost 1.2 percent.