Topix Falls as SoftBank Slides, Investors Weigh Earnings

Japan’s Topix index fell for a second day as SoftBank Corp. declined and investors weighed earnings reports and awaited results today from Fanuc Corp., Canon Inc. and Advantest Corp.

Mobile-phone operator SoftBank dropped 1.8 percent, the largest drag on the Topix. Matsui Securities Co. sank 1.9 percent after the online brokerage reported that first-quarter profit halved. Nintendo Co. posted its biggest decline since March after Jefferies Group LLC cut its rating on the video-game company. Fujifilm Holdings Corp. rose 2 percent on a report the camera maker would post quarterly operating profit of almost 30 billion yen ($295 million).

The Topix slid 0.2 percent to 1,269.86 at the close in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.3 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 0.3 percent to 15,284.42. More than 20 companies on the Topix post earnings today, with 680 businesses scheduled to do so next week. The yen held at 101.47 per dollar today.

“We are not really seeing any domestic catalysts if the Bank of Japan isn’t going to move this year,” Izumi Devalier, a Hong Kong-based economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, told Bloomberg TV. Companies are being “held back from making aggressive investments domestically. Corporates still need to see more reforms.”

The Topix surged 12 percent from this year’s low in April, even as expectations for further easing by the BOJ were pushed back. The gauge traded at 1.2 times book value today, compared with 2.7 for the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index and 1.9 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday.

Japan’s trade deficit was larger than economists forecast after exports unexpectedly fell, dragging on an economy that has slowed more than expected after a sales-tax increase in April.

China PMI

The trade shortfall in June was 822.2 billion yen, the finance ministry reported in Tokyo today, surpassing the 643 billion yen median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 32 economists. Exports shrank 2 percent from a year earlier, while imports rose 8.4 percent.

A preliminary reading of the manufacturing PMI for China from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics increased to an 18-month high of 52 in June, from 50.7 the previous month when the gauge moved into growth territory for the first time this year. Numbers above 50 signal expansion.

Futures on the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent today. The underlying gauge rose to a record yesterday as Apple Inc. boosted technology companies and health-care shares rallied.

SoftBank fell 1.8 percent to 7,459 yen. Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson sees Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. or Softbank buying Yahoo! Inc., according to a Forbes report.

Matsui Securities

Matsui Securities declined the most in a month, falling 1.9 percent to 964 yen, after the firm said first-quarter profit slumped 50 percent to 2.93 billion yen.

Nintendo retreated 3.4 percent to 12,595 yen. Jefferies downgraded its recommendation on the game-console maker to hold from buy and reduced its price target on the shares to 12,400 yen from 19,000 yen.

Fujifilm added 2 percent to 2,968 yen, its highest close since March. The company will post operating profit of almost 30 billion yen, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict a 29.9 billion yen figure when the company reports on July 30.

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