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US data sends Tokyo markets lower

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by Elaine Frei

Concerns about the state of the US economy sent equities markets in Tokyo lower in Thursday after new data released Wednesday showed that sales of existing houses was down. The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.3 percent to 15,960.62, while the Topix index fell by 1.1 percent to 1,623.03. Both export-focused and domestic stocks were hurt by the new worries.

The banking, securities, and real estate sectors were all lower on the domestic side. The real estate sector declined by 1.8 percent as a whole, with Mitsui Fudosan down 1.2 percent to ¥2,545. Mitsubishi Estate dropped 2 percent to ¥22,495, Sumotomo Realty & Development fell 2.4 percent to ¥3,320, and Tokyo Tatemono was 4 percent lower to ¥1,293 on a downgrade from “buy” to “hold” from Deutsche Bank.

Banks were down 1.3 percent as a whole, with Mizuho down 0.8 percent to ¥962,000 and Mitsubishi UFJ 1.8 percent lower to ¥1,620,000. The securities sector, meanwhile, dropped 1.1 percent. Nomura and Daiwa each declined by 0.9 percent, to ¥2,255 and ¥1,417 respectively. Nikko Cordial fell 1.7 percent to 1,514.

Export-focused stocks were also lower. Among the automobile manufacturing sector, Nissan and Honda each fell by 1.3 percent, to ¥1,290 and ¥3,890 respectively. Toyota dropped 2.2 percent to ¥6,310.

In the electronics sector, Toshiba was 1 percent lower to ¥782. Sony fell 2.9 percent to ¥5,100 on a downgrade from Mitsubishi UFJ.

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News posted: August 24, 2006

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