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Tokyo markets lower on domestic stocks


by Elaine Frei
February 15, 2006

In Tokyo on Wednesday, the Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes both were down, with the Nikkei closing down by 1.6 percent to 15,932.83. The Topix fell 0.7 percent to 1,624.28.

While real estate was down, the banking sector was up while securities brokers had a mixed day.

The three largest securities houses all rose on the day. Nomura, Japan’s largest securities firm, gained 1.4 percent to ¥2,150, while Daiwa Securities gained 1.1 percent to ¥1,321 and Nikkko Cordial was up 2.4 percent to ¥1,734. However, two online retail securities brokers saw their shares decline. Kabu.com fell 5 percent to ¥286,000 and Monex Beans declined by 1.2 percent to ¥160,000. This was seen as a sign that if interest rates rise, retail investors who now buy with cheap borrowed money will jump out of the market.

Movement in the banking and real estate sectors was also seen as an indication of things to come if the Bank of Japan’s zero interest rate policy ends and interest rates rise. I rates do go up, the banking sector is expected to see profits rise, as well, while real estate could see declines because it will cost more to borrow money to make purchases.

At any rate, the banking sector rose slightly on the day, with Mitsubishi UFJ gaining 0.6 percent to ¥1,620,000, while the real estate sector closed down 0.6 percent despite advancing by 2.5 percent during the day. Mitsubishi Estate dropped 1.7 percent on the day to ¥2.545.



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