Topix Falls From Six-Year High After Holiday as Banks DipAnna Kitanaka and Yuko Takeo
Japanese shares fell for the first time in six days, pulling the Topix index from a six-year high, as markets reopened after a holiday and banks retreated.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s two largest lenders, were the biggest drags on the Topix. Tokyo Dome Corp., which operates a baseball stadium, sank 3.6 percent after forecasting a slump in full-year profit. Wireless carrier SoftBank Corp., which holds a stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., gained 3.5 percent after China’s biggest e-commerce company boosted the amount it’s seeking in its initial public offering.
The Topix sank 0.2 percent to 1,310.86 at the close in Tokyo, with about the same number of shares rising as falling. Volume was 6.4 percent lower than the 30-day average. The measure closed last week at its highest since July 2008. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.2 percent to 15,911.53 today. The Federal Reserve begins a two-day policy meeting today.
“The market is taking a break today after rising continuously,” said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The mood is to hold back ahead of the Fed meeting.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent. The underlying equity benchmark dropped 0.1 percent yesterday after tumbling 0.6 percent on Sept. 12. Internet stocks and small-cap shares sank yesterday, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index near a one-month low, as investors sold some of the bull market’s best-performing shares.
Economic data yesterday showed U.S. industrial production unexpectedly declined in August for the first time in seven months as automakers slowed assembly lines. The Fed is gauging the strength of the U.S. economy as it winds down a bond-buying program that’s on track to end this year. The central bank has been saying since March interest rates would stay low for a “considerable time” after it completes the asset purchases known as quantitative easing.
“The yen threatening to test back at the 107 per dollar handle is setting a subdued tone for the morning session after five continuous winning sessions,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Hong Kong-based brokerage Parry International Trading Ltd. “There’s nervousness ahead of the Fed meeting.”
The Topix rebounded 16 percent from an April 14 low amid optimism about the global economy and speculation Japan’s $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund will buy more domestic shares. The equity gauge traded at 1.3 times book value today, compared with 2.7 for the S&P 500 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Topix Banks Index slumped 1.2 percent, the biggest drag among the 33 industry groups on the broader gauge. Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest lender, sank 1.2 percent to 614.6 yen in its biggest drop since Aug. 8. Sumitomo Mitsui, the No. 2, slid 1.3 percent to 4,364.5 yen.
Tokyo Dome declined 3.6 percent to 484 yen, the second-biggest drop on the Nikkei 225. Full-year net income will drop 38 percent to 5 billion yen ($46.6 million), the company said Sept. 12. Tokyo Dome also reported a 30 percent decline in half-year profit.
SoftBank gained 3.5 percent to 8,657 yen, its highest close since Jan. 22. Alibaba is now offering its shares for $66 to $68 apiece, according to a regulatory filing yesterday, compared with an initial range of $60 to $66 each. SoftBank is Alibaba’s largest shareholder.