Japan Shares Fall on GDP as Volume Tumbles to Year-LowAnna Kitanaka and Toshiro Hasegawa
Japanese shares fell, amid the thinnest trading volume on the Topix index this year, as gross domestic product missed estimates and developers led losses among the gauge’s 33 subsectors.
Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Japan’s third-biggest property company, sank 6.1 percent as the Topix Real Estate Index declined. Yokogawa Electric Corp., which makes electronic components, fell the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average after earnings slipped. Bridgestone Corp., Japan’s No. 1 tiremaker, advanced 2.8 percent after raising its full-year profit forecast. Citizen Holdings Co. surged the most in 37 years after the watchmaker boosted its net-income outlook.
The Topix lost 0.6 percent to 1,134.62 at the close in Tokyo after climbing as much as 0.2 percent. Volume was 34 percent below the 30-day average as about 1.8 billion shares changed hands, the fewest since December. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.7 percent to 13,519.43. The Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index of smaller companies tumbled 7.2 percent.
“As investors digest the GDP numbers, the drop in the market for start-up companies is spreading to larger stocks,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a market analyst at Iwai Cosmo Holdings Inc. in Tokyo. “With Japan’s vacation season in full swing, there are hardly any buy-and-sell orders, and even one small sell can affect the market.”
Japan’s gross domestic product expanded at an annualized 2.6 percent in the second quarter, from a revised 3.8 percent gain in the previous three months, the Cabinet Office reported today in Tokyo. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 3.6 percent growth.
“Headline GDP was poor but consumption is higher and deflation is becoming less of a problem,” said Stuart Beavis, head of institutional equity derivatives at Vantage Capital Markets in Hong Kong.
The GDP deflator, a broad measure of prices across the economy, fell 0.3 percent in the three months ended June from a year before, the smallest drop since the third quarter of 2009, today’s report showed. A separate gauge of corporate-goods prices released by the BOJ today showed an increase of 2.2 percent, the biggest since August 2011.
Consumer spending, which accounts for about 60 percent of the economy, contributed 1.9 percentage points to the annualized real growth rate in the second quarter. Inventories subtracted 1.1 percentage points as companies drew down stocks of unsold goods at the fastest pace since 2011.
The yen touched 95.93 per dollar today before reversing its gain and falling 0.5 percent against the greenback. The Japanese currency reached 95.81 on Aug. 8, the strongest since June 19.
Japanese equities posted the biggest drops among major developed markets last week, with the Topix sinking 4.6 percent, the most since June 7. After falling for the past three months, the Topix is still up about 32 percent this year.
Real-estate shares led declines and exerted the biggest drag on the Topix today. Sumitomo Realty slumped 6.1 percent to 4,030 yen. Mitsubishi Estate Co., Japan’s biggest developer by market value, dropped 2.6 percent to 2,485 yen. Hulic Co. slid 6.8 percent to 1,122 yen.
Yokogawa Electric sank 9.2 percent to 1,229 yen, the most since November. The Tokyo-based company reported on Aug. 9 that first-quarter net income dropped 63 percent to 1.5 billion yen. It also kept its 13.5 billion yen full-year forecast unchanged, missing the median analyst estimate of 17.4 billion yen.
Among stocks that rose, Bridgestone advanced 2.8 percent to 3,445 yen, as the Topix Rubber Products Index rose the most among the broader gauge’s groups. The tiremaker raised its net-income forecast to 246 billion yen from 235 billion yen, while boosting its outlook for operating profit to 400 billion yen from 382 billion yen.
Citizen Holdings surged 17 percent to 640 yen, the most since 1976. The producer of watches and machine tools boosted its full-year profit forecast 5 percent to 10.5 billion yen after net income jumped 31 percent to 2.6 billion yen.
With almost all Nikkei 225 companies having already reported earnings, profit surged 103 percent and beat analysts’ estimates by 16 percent, the most in two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Net income for Topix companies jumped 93 percent in the period, the data show.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.2 percent today. The measure lost 0.4 percent on Aug. 9, capping its biggest weekly loss since June, as investors pulled money from exchange-traded funds and weighed growing signs the Federal Reserve will cut stimulus this year.
The Topix traded at 1.19 times book value today, compared with 2.49 for the S&P 500 and 1.71 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.