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Tokyo markets higher on small and mid-caps

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by Elaine Frei

The Tokyo finance markets were higher on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 0.2 percent, to 15,464.29 and 1,569.65 respectively. The Mothers index of small and mid-caps was even higher, gaining 5 percent to 1,277.3.

Oji Paper was 2.1 percent higher to ¥681 after it said it will continue to pursue its hostile takeover bid for Hokuetsu Paper Mills. Hokuetsu gained 3.8 percent to ¥814.

The pharmaceuticals sector was mixed. Takeda added 0.8 percent to ¥7,540 and Daiichi Sankyo was up by 2 percent to ¥3,310. Astellas, however, dropped 1.3 percent to ¥4,510 after higher research expenditures and lower prices on its products led to a decline of 64 percent in quarterly profits.

Export-focused businesses saw share prices fall. Camera and copier maker Canon was 0.9 percent lower to ¥5,400, while Sony declined by 1 percent to ¥5,180. Heavy machinery manufacturer Komatsu fell 1.1 percent to ¥2,275 and industrial robot maker Fanuc ended the session down 2 percent to ¥9,330.

Industrial electronics manufacturer Hitachi dropped 3.5 percent to 693 after it was said that it is being urged to pay more than ¥100 billion to compensate Chubu Electric Power after one of the utility’s nuclear plants shut down because a Hitachi-designed turbine was flawed.

Banks were down on the session. Mizuho Financial fell 0.4 percent to ¥939,000, while Mitsubishi UFJ dropped 0.6 percent to ¥1,556,000 after its quarterly report disappointed investors.

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News posted: August 2, 2006

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