Topix Falls as Ukraine Tension Mounts Amid Crimea Vote

Japan’s Topix index fell, following its biggest weekly loss since June, after Crimea’s vote to rejoin Russia in a disputed referendum set the stage for sanctions by western nations as the crisis escalates.

The Topix slid 0.8 percent to 1,154.93 at the close in Tokyo, the lowest since Feb. 4. All but one of the 33 industry groups retreated. The measure slumped 5.8 percent last week, the most since the period ended June 7. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.3 percent today to 14,277.67. The yen fell 0.3 percent versus the dollar after rising 1.9 percent last week for its biggest advance since January.

More than 95 percent of voters backed leaving Ukraine to join Russia in the referendum, preliminary results show. The Ukrainian government, the European Union and the U.S. consider the vote illegal, while Russia said it “fully met international norms.” Turnout was 82.7 percent, according to the election commission. The U.S. and the EU warned Russia not to annex Crimea after the referendum.

“Some kind of economic sanctions are likely to be made” against Russia, said Tetsuo Seshimo, a portfolio manager at Saison Asset Management Co, which oversees about 81 billion yen ($798 million). “I don’t see catalysts for a rebound in Japanese shares for now.”

SoftBank Soars

Mitsubishi Estate Co., Japan’s biggest developer by market value, slumped 1.9 percent as it will rebuild a Tokyo residential complex after finding defects. Aeon Co. sank 4.3 percent after the supermarket operator’s net income missed estimates. SoftBank Corp., which holds a stake of about 37 percent in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., surged 4.9 percent after China’s biggest e-commerce company started the process to list shares in the U.S.

The Topix dropped 11 percent this year after surging 51 percent last year. The Nikkei 225 lost 12 percent, the biggest drop among 24 developed market benchmark equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

A Topix gauge covering makers of electric appliances contributed the most to today’s decline. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. declined 3.6 percent to 5,618 yen. Hitachi Ltd., a maker of electronic equipment and machinery, lost 2.2 percent to 755 yen.

Mitsubishi Estate lost 1.9 percent to 2,376 yen. The rebuilding of the complex will take about three to four years to complete, said Masayuki Watanabe, a spokesman at the Tokyo-based company.

Below Estimates

Aeon slid 4.3 percent to 1,122 yen after saying its full-year net income was 40 billion yen, below analysts’ estimate of 68.8 billion yen.

Nikon Corp. dropped 1.6 percent to 1,730 yen after a Chinese state-run television show claimed there were defects with one of the company’s cameras.

SoftBank soared 4.9 percent to 8,110 yen. Alibaba kicked off the process for what may be the biggest U.S. initial public offering in two years after struggling to persuade Hong Kong regulators to approve its proposed governance structure.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The equity measure lost 0.3 percent on March 14.

The Topix traded at 1.13 times book value today, compared with 2.57 for the S&P 500 and 1.83 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on March 14.

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