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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
January 10, 2007

Tokyo markets fall on wide losses


by Elaine Frei

The Tokyo equities markets were lower on Wednesday as both domestic and export-reliant sectors saw declines. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each dropped 1.7 percent to 16,946.89 and 1,663.

Domestically, the consumer finance sector was mixed when Citigroup said it would close 80 percent of its consumer finance branches in the nation, citing expectations that profitability will decline. While Credit Saison added 1.1 percent to ¥4,560, Takefuji dropped 1.3 percent to ¥5,200.

Japan Airlines was 3.1 percent higher to ¥232 after it said it will record ¥25 billion in extraordinary profit in the fiscal year ending March 31. The air carrier attributed this to a decline in pension obligations.

In the electronics sector, Sony was down 2 percent to ¥5,440 despite receiving a broker upgrade on Tuesday. Matsushita Electric Industrial fell 3.6 percent to ¥2,290 on the news that it will open a new plasma display factory which will cost it $2.4 billion. Some analysts feel that the move is not cost-effective.

The oil sector declined due to the falling price of crude oil. Inpex dropped 2 percent to ¥909,000, while Nippon Oil fell 4 percent to ¥772, hurt not only by lower oil prices but also by a downgrade from Morgan Stanley, which dropped its recommendation from “equal weight” to “underweight”. Bucking the trend, Idemitsu Kosan added 0.2 percent to ¥10,880 as Mitsubishi UFJ Securities began coverage of the oil refiner by setting a target share price of ¥12,500.

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