Japanese markets down slightly; some sectors buck trend
Japanese equities markets were down slightly on Friday under the influence of quarterly earnings reports and other news form the corporate world.
The Nikkei fell 0.3 percent to 16,659.64. The Topix was down 0.2 percent to 1,707.96.
Several sectors and companies bucked the general trend, however. The paper and pulp sector was up 2.3 percent as a whole amid indications that paper manufacturers have begun passing rising materials costs on to consumers. Hokuetsu Paper was up 4.4 percent to ¥641.
On the domestic side, real estate was up 1.4 percent on Japan’s continuing economic recovery and on higher rental fees for premium office space. Tokyu Land gained 1.9 percent to ¥1,153.
Port transport company Utoc Express gained 7.1 percent to ¥530 when shipper Mitsui OSK said it will increase its holdings in Utoc from 31.2 percent to 50 percent. Mitsui OSK, however, dropped 1 percent to ¥1,042 on the news.
Consumer electronics giant Matsushita Electric Industrial gained 2 percent to ¥2,565 as it reported its largest quarterly profit in 14 years. Elsewhere in the electronics sector, however, Hitachi lost 1.5 percent to ¥809 when it said its quarterly profits had dropped by 79.4 percent.