Economic growth report helps Tokyo markets

| May 19, 2006

The news that the Japanese economy grew more than had been expected in the first quarter of the year sent Tokyo equities markets higher on Friday. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 0.4 percent on the day to close at 16,155.45 and 1,638.57 respectively.

The retail sector added 1.6 percent as a whole, with Seven and I gaining 1.2 percent to ¥4,120. Another sector strongly affectd by domestic issues, securities, also gained on the day. The sector as a whole added 2 percent, as Nomura was up by 1.3 percent to ¥2,335 and Daiwa Securities gained 3.3 percent to ¥1,423.

Shipping companies saw gains on upgrades from UBS. Mitsui OSK was up 3.3 percent to ¥806, Kawasaki Kisen gained 4.4 percent to ¥717, and Nippon Yusen added 4.7 percent to ¥730.

Among losers on the day was the construction sector, done in by disappointing earnings forecasts. Shimizu dropped 2.8 percent to ¥697, while Kajima was down 2.1 percent to ¥592 and Taisei declined by 1.3 percent to ¥460.

In the electronics sector, meanwhile, Sanyo Electric dropped 2.2 percent to ¥271 on extensive restructuring costs that led to a significant loss in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.


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