Japan Stocks Fall, Led by Oil Explorers, Exporters as Yen Rises

Stocks fell in Tokyo, led by energy explorers as crude oil prices dropped and the yen strengthened, exacerbating a problem for exporters that has seen Japan’s overseas shipments decline for seven straight months.

The Topix index sank 0.4 percent to 1,338.68 at the close in Tokyo after earlier losing 1.8 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.5 percent to 16,654.60. Volume of both measure was more than 20 percent below the 30-day average. The yen added 0.4 percent to 109.73 per dollar after two days of talks between Group of Seven finance chiefs were marked by discord between the U.S. and Japan over exchange-rate policies. Oil extended losses as traders started to focus on next week’s meeting of OPEC suppliers, with Iran claiming it won’t join any pact to freeze output.

Toyota Motor Corp. fell 1 percent and Hino Motors Ltd. dropped 1.1 percent, leading exporters lower. Fancl Corp. fell 6.3 percent after releasing April data on Friday that showed sales growth slowing at the cosmetics maker.

Energy explorers were the biggest losers on the Topix, with Inpex Corp. falling 2.2 percent. Utilities also retreated, with Tokyo Gas Co. declining 2.4 percent. Shares focused on domestic consumption were also major decliners, with retailers and foodmakers among the biggest drags on the Topix.

Source: Bloomberg

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Japanese Stocks Fall, Led by Energy Explorers, as Oil Plunges

Japanese stocks fell, led by energy explorers, after crude oil plunged below $ 40 a barrel.

The Topix index dropped 0.2 percent to 1,599.12 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo as all but eight of its 33 industry groups retreated. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.3 percent to 19,988.35. The yen traded at 123.24 per dollar after weakening 0.3 percent on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen laid the groundwork for the first U.S. rate increase since 2006 just as Europe braces for higher borrowing costs.

West Texas Intermediate oil traded at $ 40.14 in early Thursday after slumping 4.6 percent in the previous session in New York to $ 39.94, the lowest close since Aug. 26.

The selloff was sparked by signs of discord in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as ministers arrive in Vienna for a meeting. A majority of OPEC members agree on an output cut, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab countries, the Iranian Oil Ministry’s Shana news agency said.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed after the underlying gauge dropped 1.1 percent on Wednesday, its steepest one-day loss since Nov. 13.

Source: Bloomberg