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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
July 24, 2006

Gains in paper sector limit Tokyo losses


by Elaine Frei

Equities markets in Tokyo were slightly lower on Monday on declines in the securities and steel sectors. Semiconductors were down as well, while electronics were mixed and paper and pulp saw increases during the day. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.2 percent to 14,794.5, while the Topix index was down 0.1 percent to 1,514.22.

The steel sector was especially hard hit. Japan Steel Works fell just 0.2 percent to ¥656, while Kobe Steel dropped 3 percent to ¥326 and JFE was down by 4.6 percent to ¥4,380. Tokyo Steel, hurt by a quarterly report that showed earnings down 42.6 percent in the quarter, declined by 17.1 percent to ¥1,945.

The semiconductor sector was hurt by a profit warning from computer maker Dell. Advantest fell 1.4 percent to ¥10,930, while Tokyo Electron dropped 3.8 percent to ¥7,120.

Among electronics companies, Sony was down 0.6 percent to ¥4,810 and NEC fell by 2.1 percent to ¥566. On the other hand, Matsushita Electric Industrial gained 2.7 percent to ¥2,245, while Sharp was up 4.4 percent to ¥1,836.

The securities sector saw losses after Goldman Sachs issued a reduced forecast for the sector as a whole in the wake of first-quarter earnings reports from the four largest brokerages in Japan. Nomura fell 0.3 percent to ¥2,015, while Mitsubishi UFJ Securities was down 1.5 percent to ¥1,273 and Daiwa Securities was 2.7 percent lower to ¥1,226.

Prospects for consolidation sent the paper and pulp sector higher after Oji Paper made an unsolicited offer for Hokuetsu Paper Mills. Hokuetsu, in an effort to fend off the bid, offered to sell 50 million new shares to Mitsubishi Paper Mills. The news sent Oji Paper 2.3 percent higher to ¥656, while Mitsubishi Paper Mills was up 9.8 percent to ¥224 and Hokuetsu added 15.8 percent to ¥735.

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