Most Japanese Stocks Fall as Agriculture Firms, Brokerages Drop

Most Japanese stocks fell, led by losses at agricultural companies and brokerages. Energy explorers jumped as crude rose for a fifth day.

Hokuto Corp., a cultivator of mushrooms, fell 1.8 percent. Mito Securities Co. led brokers lower, retreating 3.7 percent. JGC Corp., a builder of factories and other industrial facilities, lost 6.6 percent after cutting its dividend and reporting profit that missed forecasts. Inpex Corp., Japan’s biggest energy explorer, climbed 1.5 percent. Japan Airlines Co. surged 5.1 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its price target on the carrier.

Almost two stocks fell for each that rose as the Topix index closed 0.1 percent lower at 1,588.81 in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.2 percent to 19,869.76. The measure briefly climbed above 20,000 last week for the first time in 15 years. The yen weakened 0.2 percent to 119.66 after strengthening 0.6 percent against the dollar on Tuesday.

“There’s still a feeling of overbuying left in the market,” Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo, said by phone. “We’re at a stage where we see buying if the numbers are surprisingly good” for company earnings, he said.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge advanced 0.2 percent Tuesday in New York as a rally in energy companies outweighed weaker-than-expected retail sales data for March.

Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. declined 6.5 percent. Volume was about 380 percent above the entertainment-center operator’s three-month average after 10 block trades totaling about 16.9 million shares crossed before the open.

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Best Denki Co. dropped 5.7 percent after the maker of home appliances reported operating profit that missed its forecast.

Aderans Co. slumped 13 percent, the most since March 2011, to lead declines on the Topix. The beauty-salon owner reported a 20 percent decline in operating profit.

Among shares that rose, Japan Airlines surged 5.1 percent, the most in three months. The carrier will likely top forecasts for profit in the fourth quarter, according to Tokyo-based Nomura analyst Masaharu Hirokane, who raised his share-price estimate by 4.4 percent.

Inpex rose 1.5 percent. Oil advanced for a fifth day as Iran became at least the second OPEC member this month to call on the group to cut production amid a global glut.

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