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China announcement sends Tokyo equities lower

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by Elaine Frei

The Tokyo equities markets were lower on Monday as export-reliant sectors saw declines on the news that China’s central bank is cutting back on lending. The announcement spurred worries that China’s economy is slowing down. The Topix index was also hurt by declines in the banking sector.

The Nikkei 225 was 0.1 percent lower to 14,860.35, while the Topix dropped 0.5 percent to 1,527.66. Meanwhile, the Mothers index of small and mid-cap stocks closed flat at 1,462.71.

Among companies hit by the news from China were smelter Mitsubishi Materials, which dropped 3 percent to ¥458 and construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu, down 3.5 percent to ¥2,075.

The electrical machinery sector dropped 0.5 percent as a sector. Among electronics companies, Hitachi was down 1.1 percent to ¥743, while Sony dropped 1.6 percent to ¥4,860. In the semiconductor sector, Advantest lost 2.6 percent to ¥10,750.

Among banks, Mizuho lost 1.9 percent to ¥875,000, while Mitsubishi UFJ declined by 2 percent to ¥1,460,000.

Pharmaceuticals and seafood companies, however, saw gains on the day. Strong export sales in the seafood sector saw Nippon Suisan add 3.1 percent to ¥589 and Maruha gain 3.5 percent to ¥325.

The pharmaceuticals sector was up 2.3 percent as a whole. Takeda added 1.7 percent to ¥6,730, Chugai was up 3.4 percent to ¥2,280, and Daiichi Sankyo gained 6.1 percent to ¥2,890.

Ishikawa Seisakusho, which manufactures defence products in addition to textiles, added 17.7 percent on the day to ¥166 as suspicions rose that North Korea is preparing to test a missile in the near future.

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News posted: June 19, 2006

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