Japan Stocks Fall as Yen Heads for Best Weekly Gain Since 2009

  • Topix caps weekly loss after BOJ stimulus gains wiped out
  • U.S. equities rise for second day amid raw-materials rally

Stocks fell in Tokyo for a fourth day to cap a weekly loss that saw the Topix index hand back all of its gains following the Bank of Japan’s stimulus boost. Exporters dropped after the yen rallied.

The Topix lost 1.4 percent to 1,368.97 at the close in Tokyo to finish the week 4.4 percent lower. It jumped 5.1 percent in two days after the BOJ introduced negative interest rates last Friday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 1.3 percent to 16,819.59. The yen traded at 116.84 per dollar, poised to post its biggest weekly advance since 2009. Investors are awaiting Friday’s U.S. monthly payrolls report after data showed factory orders fell in December.

“The Bank of Japan has done what they should, but what they could do had its limits,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Tokyo, said by phone. “Until now, the view on the U.S. economy was that it was recovering, but the pace wasn’t as fast as hoped. Now there’s some concern in the market that it may actually be contracting.”

All but nine of the 33 Topix industry groups declined, led by real-estate companies and lenders.

The Topix fell into a bear market last month, slumping 20 percent from its peak in August. That capped a wild 12 months for the Topix, which had surged 20 percent in the first eight months of last year. Data compiled by Bloomberg show that the 14 bear markets since 1989 lasted about 7 1/2 months.

Mazda, Nissan

Automakers dropped as the strengthening yen damped their profit outlook, with Mazda Motor Corp. sinking 4.8 percent after reporting net income fell. Nissan Motor Co. tumbled 3.3 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.9 percent ahead of its earnings report.

Banks fell after Citigroup Inc. cut its ratings on the nation’s three largest lenders by assets. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. sank 3.5 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. dropped 3.3 percent and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. declined 4.6 percent, deepening their losses since the BOJ introduced negative interest rates a week ago to more than 13 percent.

Toshiba Corp. plunged 11 percent to a 36-year low after widening its loss outlook to a record 710 billion yen ($6 billion) as the industrial group continues restructuring in the wake of an accounting scandal. 

Sharp Corp. jumped 10 percent, adding to Thursday’s 17 percent surge, as Foxconn Technology Group said it is meeting with the electronics maker on a proposed bailout. Smartphone game maker Gree Inc. surged 15 percent, the most in more than seven years, after announcing a tie-up with mobile messaging app Line Corp. Shares gained even as the company lowered its profit guidance by 31 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.3 percent. The underlying equity gauge rose 0.2 percent on Thursday, gaining for a second day amid a rally in raw-material and industrial shares.

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