Nikkei falls, exporters down on profit-taking, Gree tumbles

Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:38pm EST

* Gree tumbles on poor earnings, outlook cut
    * Market stays sensitive on forex comments until G20 -
analyst

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
lower on Wednesday as a pause in the yen's decline triggered
profit-taking on exporters, while Gree Inc tumbled
after cutting its annual profit forecast.
    The Nikkei was down 0.3 percent at 11,337.19, moving
away from a 33-month high of 11,498.42 struck last Wednesday.
    Market analysts said the underlying mood remained positive 
after a U.S. Treasury official on Monday voiced support for
Japan's aggressive policies to combat deflation and bolster 
growth. But the market may be prone to short-term volatility 
until the weekend, when Group of 20 finance chiefs are scheduled
to meet in Moscow.  
    "The Japanese market will likely stay sensitive to 
officials' comments until the G20 meeting this weekend. Any 
comments on foreign exchange could move the market," 
said Takuya Takahashi, an analyst at Daiwa Securities.
    While the Nikkei stayed in a narrow range, investors focused
on individual stocks based on their earnings, such as internet
gamer Gree Inc, which disappointed the market with poor
earnings and cut its profit outlook, followed by a rating cut by
Nomura Securities. 
    Gree dropped 11.2 percent to 1,206 yen and was eighth
most-traded stock on the board by turnover after cutting its
operating profit outlook for the year through June to 50-60
billion yen ($537-$645 million), compared with a previous
estimate of 74-84 billion yen. 
    Six-month operating profit fell 23 percent from a year
earlier to 30 billion yen due to a delay in the release of some
games. 
    Exporters were lower, with Toyota Motor Corp 
shedding 1.2 percent and Sony Corp dropping 5.0
percent, with the firms' stocks fifth most-traded on the board
by turnover.
    "For those expecting a further weakening of the yen, it's
time to take profits now," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global
equities at BNP Paribas.
    The yen plunged late on Monday after U.S. Treasury 
Undersecretary Lael Brainard said the United States supports 
Japan's effort to end deflation and stimulate growth. She later 
clarified that Japan needed to honor its G7 commitment on 
market-determined exchange rates. 
    The yen rebounded on Tuesday after an official from the 
Group of Seven said there were concerns about excessive 
movements in Japan's currency. 
    The dollar last traded at 93.32 yen, down from a near
33-month high of 94.41 yen, while the euro shed more than one 
yen to as far as 125.00.
    Investors will also likely stay cautious ahead of the
outcome of a BOJ meeting due on Thursday, although many expect
the bank to hold off on any fresh easing measures until a new
governor is appointed. 
    The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 966.18.