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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
July 10, 2006

Banks take Tokyo markets higher


by Elaine Frei

Equities markets in Tokyo were up substantially on Monday, with the Nikkei 225 up 1.6 percent to 15,552.81 and the Topix index 1.3 percent higher to 1,594.07.

In the technology sector, chip-making and testing equipment companies saw gains. Advantest was up 2.7 percent to ¥12,130, while Tokyo Electron gained 3.3 percent to ¥8,250.

Electronics companies were also up on the session, with Sony adding 1.2 percent to ¥5,050, Matsushita Electric Industrial up 1.5 percent to ¥2,390, and Canon advancing by 2.3 percent to ¥5,790.

Automobile manufacturers were mixed on currency concerns. Mazda and Toyota gained 1 percent to ¥777 and 1.2 percent to ¥6,050 respectively, while Nissan declined by 0.1 percent to ¥1,238.

The machinery sector was up 1.2 percent as a whole, with Komatsu adding 1.3 percent to ¥2,295. Industrial robots maker Fanuc, meanwhile, gained 4.7 percent to ¥10,120.

Banks benefited from the news that lending was up this month at a rate it hasn’t seen in five years. Mizuho advanced by 3.2 percent to ¥998,000 and Mitsubishi UFJ added 5.2 percent to ¥1,630,000. Also helping banks was the expectation that the Bank of Japan will bring an end to zero interest rates when it meets later this week.

Consumer finance companies saw losses during the session, again on interest rate issues, after the Liberal Democratic Party proposed new rules last week which would drop the maximum allowable interest rate on their loans from 29.2 percent to between 15 and 20 percent. Acom fell 1.8 percent to ¥5,870, while Promise dropped 2.5 percent to ¥5,500, Takefuji declined by 4 percent to ¥5,820, and Aiful was down 7.8 percent to ¥4,840.

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