Topix Index Falls on Insurers, Developers as Yen RisesYoshiaki Nohara and Satoshi Kawano
Japan’s Topix index fell, after posting its biggest weekly advance in three months, as the yen rose and insurers and developers led declines.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, dropped 1 percent after rising as much as 1.1 percent. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. lost 3.3 percent. Zeria Pharmaceutical Co. slumped 7.4 percent, the most on the Topix, after the drugmaker announced a share sale. Land Co., a condominium developer, fell 6.7 percent for the second-biggest decline.
The Topix slid 0.3 percent to 1,219.07 at the close in Tokyo after advancing as much as 1 percent and dropping 1.3 percent. The gauge rose 3.3 percent last week, the most since the period ended Nov. 15. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.2 percent today to 14,837.68. The yen gained 0.2 percent to 102.32 per dollar. Data last week showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell in January to the lowest level in more than a year.
“The share market is moving with the yen while harsh winter weather makes it hard to analyze U.S. economic reports,” said Osamu Koizumi, Tokyo-based executive officer at Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of 1.75 trillion yen ($17 billion) in assets. “You don’t know yet if the reports are bad temporarily or if it’s worse than that.”
Accommodative monetary policies from Japan to the U.S. should remain intact for now, Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors said. They pledged to lift global gross domestic product by more than 2 percent above the trajectory implied by current policies.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.1 percent. The equity measure dropped 0.2 percent on Feb. 21 Federal Reserve officials indicated the central bank is unlikely to slow the pace of stimulus cuts.
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said it’s hard to argue that further expansion of the central bank’s balance sheet has had “much efficacy.”
“This is why I’ve been such a strong proponent of dialing back our large-scale asset purchases and will continue advocating that we do so,” Fisher said in the text of a speech in Austin, Texas. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who doesn’t vote on the Federal Open Market Committee this year, said soft economic data in 2014 is probably due to bad weather.
In China, a state-owned newspaper reported that some banks tightened lending to the property sector and industries such as steel and cement, without saying where it got the information.
Exporters dropped as the yen gained. Toyota declined 1 percent to 5,924 yen. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., a maker of industrial machinery and cars that gets about half its revenue in North America, fell 1 percent to 2,769 yen.
Insurers and developers fell the most among the Topix industry groups. MS&AD Insurance lost 3.3 percent to 2,455 yen and NKSJ Holdings Inc., an insurer, slid 2.4 percent to 2,660 yen. Land decreased 6.7 percent to 14 yen and Daibiru Corp., which leases office buildings, fell 2.2 percent to 1,082 yen.
Zeria Pharmaceutical slumped 7.4 percent to 2,469 yen after saying it will raise as much as 18.7 billion yen in a public share sale.
Sanrio Co. climbed 2.3 percent to 4,015 yen after shares of the creator of Hello Kitty toys were upgraded at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.
The Topix traded at 1.20 times book value today, compared with 2.58 for the S&P 500 and 1.89 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on Feb. 21.