Asia Stocks recap: Creeping higher – MarketWatch (blog)

After its adorably small 0.1% gain yesterday, the Nikkei Average is making a more decisive move to the downside this morning, sent 0.7% lower by a stronger yen, a rash of auto recalls, and a sharp pullback for oil. The Topix too is 0.7% in the hole.

Who’s to blame? The first and easiest target is the yen, which strengthened overnight as the dollar fell back below the ¥102 level (currently at ¥101.85). This is weighing on the big exporters, including Sony (down 1.1%), Sharp (down 0.9%), Japan Display (down 2.2%), and Renesas (down 1.3%).

Then there’s a rash of recalls, announced after yesterday’s market close, involving air bags made by Takata Corp. which can, in some cases, explode. Takata is down 4%, while the three Japanese auto makers that recalled a combined 2.9 million cars late Monday are all falling as well: Honda is down 1.8%, Nissan is down 1.9%, and Mazda is down 1.2%. Toyota is also expected to issue a recall over the matter — it is down 0.9%.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil is about 1% lower than it was 24 hours ago, and this is hitting some of the energy names: Inpex is down 3.5%, Japan Petroleum Exploration (a.k.a. Japex) is down 1.9%, JX Holdings is down 1.7%, and Showa Shell is down 1.1%.

And trading house Mitsubishi Corp. is 1.1% weaker on news it plans to buy wheat-trading group Olam Grains Australia for about $62 million.

Over on the upside, Panasonic is 0.5% higher after news it will fold its money-losing LCD-panel business into its automotive/industrial-systems division in an effort to reduce dependence on television, according to a Nikkei report.

Shares of Suntory Beverage & Food are 1.3% higher as it taps Lawson Inc. Chairman Takeshi Niinami as its president, the first time someone outside Suntory’s founding family will run the company, the Nikkei said in a separate report. Lawson shareholders don’t seem to mind either, with the stock up 1%.

And airline operator ANA Holdings is up 0.8% on yet another Nikkei report, this one quoting ANA’s president as saying the company plans to raise its annual dividend back up to ¥5 a share.

Asia Stocks recap: Creeping higher – MarketWatch (blog)}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *