Japanese stocks declined after the nation reported a wider-than-expected trade deficit in July as Europe’s debt crisis damped demand. Trade volume was low ahead of a euro-area finance ministers meeting this week to discuss a bailout package for Greece.
Kyocera Corp. (6971), an electronics maker that gets almost 20 percent of its sales in Europe, lost 1.2 percent. Nippon Steel Corp. paced declines in the sector after iron-ore prices fell to a 32-month low amid falling demand from China. Inpex Corp., Japan’s top oil explorer by market value, rose after agreeing to acquire a stake in an oil block in Angola.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) fell 0.5 percent to 9,112.85 as of 9:35 a.m. in Tokyo. Volume on the gauge was more than 20 percent below the 30-day average as investors await developments from a euro-area finance ministers meeting. The broader Topix Index lost 0.4 percent to 762.53, with more than twice as many shares declining as advancing.
-- With assistance from Andy Sharp in Tokyo. Editor: Jim Powell
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