Japan Stocks Fall on Yen; Topix Posts First Drop in Three WeeksAdam Haigh and Yuko Takeo
Japan’s Topix index fell from a seven-year high, posting its first weekly loss this month, as the yen held five days of gains. Retailers led declines.
Sony Corp., a consumer electronics maker that gets more than 70 percent of sales outside Japan, lost 3.7 percent after Wikileaks published company documents. Discount-store operator Don Quijote Holdings Co. slumped 7.6 percent. JX Holdings Inc. advanced 2.2 percent as crude oil headed for the biggest weekly gain since 2011 and the Nikkei reported that the energy producer’s profit will exceed analyst estimates.
The Topix retreated 0.7 percent to 1,588.69 at the close in Tokyo, to end the week 0.1 percent lower. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 1.2 percent to 19,652.88. The yen traded at 119.03 per dollar. More than 50 companies on the Topix posted results this week.
“Earnings expectations have already been priced in for the most part,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Tokyo, said by phone. “In that sense we’re in a state of wait-and-see.”
Investors are weighing economic reports for clues on the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first interest-rate increase since 2006. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that while borrowing costs will probably rise this year, any decision depends on economic data. U.S. housing starts rose less than forecast last month, while jobless claims rose in the week ended April 11.
“U.S. housing starts rose considerably less than expected in March, suggesting the economy could struggle to rebound from a soft patch hit in the first quarter,” said Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $21 billion.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge slipped 0.1 percent on Thursday in New York.
WikiLeaks published more than 200,000 internal Sony Pictures Entertainment documents and e-mails. The material can be searched, giving journalists and Sony competitors access to the information that was quickly taken down after it was first posted by hackers tied to North Korea.
Yamaha Corp. tumbled 5.6 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised selling shares of the musical instrument maker.
Bronco Billy Co. tumbled 11 percent, posting the largest decline on the Topix, after the restaurant operator maintained its profit forecast.
McDonald’s Holdings Co. Japan Ltd. retreated 0.5 percent. The burger chain said it will close stores after tripling its loss forecast.
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