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Tokyo markets down on lower oil prices

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by Elaine Frei

The Nikkei and Topix indexes both saw declines in Tokyo on Monday as domestic stocks and stocks related to the commodities markets fell on the day.

The Nikkei 225 closed below 16,000 for the first time in over two weeks as it dropped 2.3 percent to 15,877.66. The Topix index fell 2.5 percent to 1,618.01.

Mitsui Mining’s announcement that it had reduced its zinc prices led to a 7 percent drop for the company’s shares, to ¥759. Meanwhile, falling crude oil prices led to declines in upstream oil companies. Inpex lost 7.5 percent to ¥1,110,000, while Teikoku Oil fell 7.3 percent to ¥1,604. However, oil-dependent transport companies did not benefit from the drop in oil prices and both the air and sea transport sectors declined on the day. Shipper Mitsui OSK Lines fell 3.3 percent to ¥881.

On the domestic side, a wide variety of stocks declined on worries that Japan’s stock market rally would not last. The retail sector dropped 2.9 percent as a whole, while real estate fell 3.9 percent and the securities sector declined by 4.7 percent.

In the retail sector, department stores saw the brunt of the declines with Takashimaya down 4.2 percent to ¥1,649 and Matsuzakaya falling 2.5 percent to ¥989. The downgrade of retailer Daiei by Merrill Lynch from “neutral” to “sell” sent shares in that company down 12.4 percent to ¥3,540.

Real estate company Tokyu Land dropped 4 percent to ¥1,112, while in the securities sector Daiwa Securities fell 6.6 percent to end at ¥1,263.

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News posted: February 13, 2006

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