Topix Falls First Time in Six Days as Syria Tension Boosts Yen

  • Turkey shoots down Russian fighter jet near Syrian border
  • Exporters, brokers and mega banks lead Japanese losses

Japanese stocks fell as growing military tension between Turkey and Russia drove the yen higher, damping the earnings outlook for exporters. Brokers and banks led losses, while utilities and commodity producers gained.

The Topix index dropped 0.7 percent to 1,594.67 at the close in Tokyo, its first loss in more than a week, as megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. contributed most to the gauge’s decline. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.4 percent to 19,847.58, falling from a three-month high. The yen strengthened for a second day following Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet that it claims was violating its airspace.

“Turkey shooting down the Russian plane is certainly not a positive event for markets,” Chihiro Ohta, general manager of investment information at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo, said by phone. “This isn’t something we can just ignore and continue to push stock prices higher.”

Turkey shot down the plane near its border with northwestern Syria early Tuesday, drawing an angry rebuke from Russian President Vladimir Putin and marking the first direct clash between foreign powers embroiled in the Syrian civil war. Oil prices jumped and the yen climbed.

Yen, Oil

A stronger currency damped exporters, including Honda Motor Co. The automaker that gets more than half of its revenue from North America dropped 1 percent. TDK Corp., which sells 91 percent of its electronic components abroad, slid 1.1 percent.

Higher oil prices sent airline ANA Holdings Inc. down 1.7 percent, while oil explorer Inpex Corp. gained 1.2 percent. Crude mostly held gains on Wednesday after jumping the previous day on the heightened tension in Turkey. 

Brokers and banks fell on media reports that Japanese regulators will require higher capital ratios at financial companies. Broker Nomura Holdings Inc. dropped 2.3 percent, while lenders Mizuho Financial fell 2 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ lost 2.1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui declined 2.1 percent.

Cyberdyne Inc. jumped 5.2 percent after Japan’s Health Ministry approved use of the company’s robotic suits for patients suffering from diseases that impair their ability to walk. Shares have surged 22 percent this month.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge pared losses of as much as 0.8 percent to close 0.1 percent higher on Tuesday after Putin stopped short of threatening a military response. Data on Tuesday indicated the U.S. economy expanded at a faster pace in the third quarter than previously reported.

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