The Japanese stock market fell mildly on Monday due to disappointing capital investment and employee earnings numbers.
The Nikkei 225 ended the trading day down 0.3 per cent at 16,524.93 while the broader Topix lost 0.2 per cent to 1,605.44.
Domestically focused sectors led the decline, due partly to overall pessimism about the economy but also because the data showed a sharp fall in spending by non-manufacturing companies, which dominate the domestic part of the economy. Real estate fell 1.3 per cent. Mitsui Fudosan, Japan’s biggest property company, slid 1.7 per cent to Y2,980.
Official data showed Japanese companies cut capital spending for the first time in four years in the second quarter, by 4.9 per cent from the year earlier. Figures for employees’ earnings showed the biggest drop in total cash payments in more than three years.
Tohoku Electric Power sank 3.4 per cent to Y2,670 after revising down its forecast for operating profit for the year to March 2008 to Y100bn from Y140bn. The company cited difficulties in securing electricity following the July closure of Tokyo Electric Power’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plants – the biggest civil nuclear site in the world. But Tepco, which has kept the site closed after a July earthquake, rose 1.3 per cent to Y3,080, in step with gains for most other electricity utilities.
Shipping, one of the most export-focused of all sectors, rose 2.5 per cent, boosted by Friday’s rise in the London Baltic Exchange’s dry freight index to a record high. Kawasaki Kisen, one of Japan’s biggest shippers, jumped 3.4 per cent to Y1,547.
The Osaka Securities Exchange advanced 2.7 per cent to Y452,000 following a filing Friday showing that US investment fund Indus Capital Partners had bought a 5.01 per cent stake in the bourse.
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