Japanese stocks fell, with airlines leading declines after a brokerage downgraded its price target on the nation’s two largest carriers. Iron and steel producers rallied amid signs China is stepping up its efforts to support the domestic metals industry.
The Topix index lost 0.4 percent to 1,595.77 at the lunch break in Tokyo, reversing a gain of 0.2 percent and heading for a weekly loss of 0.5 percent in a shortened trading week. Volume was 4 percent lower than the 30-day intraday average. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.3 percent to 19,894.88, falling from a three-month high.
ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. each fell at least 1.7 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. said both carriers face a drop in fuel surcharges from Dec. 1 and stiffer competition from Chinese rivals. The broker lowered its price target for both companies, and maintained their neutral rating.
Chinese regulators are considering a request from a metal industry group to curb excessive short selling, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. climbed 3.3 percent after copper jumped as much as 4.2 percent, while Kyoei Steel Ltd. rose 1.2 percent.