Tokyo markets up on steel, miners

| May 17, 2006

In Tokyo on Wednesday the equities markets were up for the first time in over a week, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.9 percent to 16,307.67 and the Topix index gaining 0.7 percent to 1,657.07. Commodities stocks that were higher after recent declines were key to the day’s gains, even as sectors focused on domestic demand were generally down on the day.

The securities sector was down by 0.4 percent as a whole. Daiwa Securities, for example, was 2 percent lower to ¥1,463.

Retailers as a sector were also 0.4 percent lower, although stocks within the sector were mixed. Department store chain Matsuzakaya dropped by 1.5 percent to ¥933. On the other hand, convenience store chain Circle K Sunkus added 3.3 percent on the day to ¥2,690.

Steel and non-ferrous metals sectors were each 3 percent higher on the day, helped out by higher commodities prices. Mitsui Mining & Smelting and Sumitomo Metal Mining each added 4.7 percent, to ¥817 and ¥1,602 respectively. Nippon Steel, meanwhile, gained 4.4 percent to ¥428.

In the consumer finance sector, Aiful dropped 10.4 percent to ¥6,110 after it said that its annual profits were down last year and that they would probably fall further this year after it was forced by government regulators to shut down for a period earlier in the month.


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