Bloomberg News

Japan Stocks Slip as Yen Rises in Face of Noda’s Call for Action

January 29, 2012

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks fell for a second day as the yen strengthened even after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pressed the central bank for “bold” action to counter the currency’s gain. Energy companies and trading houses gained as commodity prices climbed.

Sony Corp., a consumer electronics maker that gets about 70 percent of its sales overseas, slid 1.4 percent. Nintendo Co. sank 4.1 percent after the video-game console maker tripled its loss forecast. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s top lender by market value, lost 1.4 percent, after U.S. banking stocks dropped on the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep rates near zero through 2014. Mitsui & Co., which counts commodities as its biggest source of profit, rose 2.1 percent as crude and metals prices gained.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.1 percent to 8,841.22 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, with a weekly gain of 0.9 percent. The broader Topix slipped 0.5 percent to 761.13, with about three shares dropping for every two that gained.

“The yen just keeps getting stronger and it’s hurting Japanese stocks,” said Tomoichiro Kubota, a market analyst at Matsui Securities Co. “With the Fed saying they’ll keep zero rates for a long time and Europe facing all of these government bond redemptions, the concern has been reignited that the yen will keep rising.”

-- With assistance from Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo. Editors: Jim Powell, Jason Clenfield.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at skawano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at j.mccluskey@bloomberg.net


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