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April 20, 2006

Oil takes Tokyo markets higher

Permalink: Oil takes Tokyo markets higher
by Elaine Frei

Oil-related stocks were up on the day in Tokyo on Thursday, but there was very little movement in the equities markets as a whole. The Nikkei dropped slightly, by 0.2 percent to 17,317.53, while the Topix index was unchanged at 1,747.86.

Oil stocks rose after a report that wholesale gasoline prices could go up next month, possibly as much as ¥4 per litre. Nippon Oil gained 1.5 percent to ¥961, while Showa Shell added 2.9 percent to ¥1,425 and Cosmo Oil added 2.4 percent to ¥679. Japan Petroleum Exploration was up by 3.2 percent to ¥8,370. Nippon Mining, which also has oil interests, gained 1.3 percent to ¥1,152.

Trading houses were also up. Mitsubishi added 3 percent to ¥2,920 and Mitsui & Co was up 1.1 percent to ¥1,824 when it said that it was thinking about new investments to expand its commodities trading.

On the other hand, the consumer loan sector was down again on the possibility that new lending laws might reduce the maximum amount of interest lenders can charge borrowers. Aiful was down 5.4 percent to ¥6,320, while Promise declined by 2.9 percent to ¥6,600.

The paper and pulp sector was down as well, by 1.8 percent as a whole, mainly on concerns about rising raw materials costs. Nippon Paper declined by 2.4 percent to ¥484,000. Oji Paper, Japan’s largest paper manufacturer, was down 2 percent to ¥686.



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