Tokyo markets lower as utilities, banks decline

| May 17, 2011
Tokyo markets lower as utilities, banks decline

Equities markets in Asia and the Pacific region were mixed Tuesday, with Tokyo’s markets mixed as well as the Nikkei 225 up 0.09 percent to 9,567.01 in Tokyo, but the Topix index was down 0.08 percent to 828.85 and the Mothers market dropped 0.12 percent to 451.15, with some exporters, such as copier makers and consumer electronics manufacturers helped by a weaker yen, but utilities, banks and carmakers all lower in Tokyo.

Utilities and banks were lower in tandem, with Tokyo Electric Power (TYO: 9501) and the banks especially hurt by a statement from Japan’s finance minister, who said that the government wants Tepco and its creditors to work together to repair damage to the utility’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, while Tepco was also hurt by Moody’s Japan KK’s cut to the utility’s senior secured debt.

Regional markets were also mixed as European authorities asked Greece to make more spending cuts and sell some assets as a condition for receiving more bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and a report showing slower growth in factory output in the New York region of the United States.

Gainers in the region included the Shanghai Composite, which was up 0.13 percent to 2,852.77, while Australia’s markets were up with the Sydney Ordinaries gaining 0.61 percent to 4,753 as the S&P/ASX200 added 0.73 percent to 4,683.9, while decliners included South Korea’s Kospi, which was was down 0.08 percent to 2,102.41 while the Hang Seng fell 0.26 percent to 22,901.1 in Hong Kong, Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.31 percent lower to 8,884.09 and the Sensex dropped 1.13 percent to 18,137.3 in India.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was closed in observance of Vesak Day, which celebrates Gautama Buddha.

European markets were lower on continued concerns about the debt situation in Greece, on disappointing corporate results, after a new report showed UK inflation up in April and after the US Commerce Department said that US housing starts were down 10.6 percent in April.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.06 percent in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.9 percent to 11,836 as the telecommunications sector was mixed but, miners, the energy sector, homebuilders and the travel and leisure sector all lower aside from a few scattered gains for individual companies.

Elsewhere in the region the Eurofirst 300 was down 0.9 percent to 1,128.45 while the IBEX fell 0.55 percent to 10,306.4, the CAC-40 was 1.21 percent lower to 3,941.58 and the Dax dropped 1.77 percent to 7,256.65, with only one gainer each on the CAC-40 and the Dax.

New York equities markets declined in midday trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.81 percent to 12,446.9 while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.36 percent to 1,324.68 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.26 percent lower to 2,775.01.

Crude oil prices were lower at midday in New York, while metals prices were mixed with copper higher but gold and silver both lower.

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