Nikkei slips on profit-taking, Gree tumbles

Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:45pm EST

* Market remains sensitive to forex comments
    * Gree falls 16 pct on poor earnings, outlook cut

    By Tomo Uetake
    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 social gaming company Gree Inc
 tumbled after cutting its annual profit forecast.
    The Nikkei was down 0.2 percent at 11,344.45 by the
midday break, moving away from the 33-month high it hit a week
earlier of 11,498.42.
    "The yen's move against the dollar prompted profit-taking on
exporters. The stock market is nervously eyeing the currency
moves," said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset
Management.
    Big exporter Toyota Motor Corp, the day's third
most-traded stock, shed 0.8 percent while Sony Corp,
the fourth most-heavily traded, lost 5 percent.
    On the foreign exchange market, the yen held firm on
Wednesday, swinging sharply higher after an official from the
Group of Seven said there were concerns about excessive
movements in Japan's currency. 
    The yen had weakened initially after Japanese Finance
Minister Taro Aso said that a G7 statement recognised that
Japan's reflationary policies are not aimed at affecting foreign
exchange markets.
    But a G7 official later said the statement was meant to
signal concerns about excessive moves in the yen, prompting a
dramatic reversal in the currency. 
    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.
    However, Shinkin's Fujiwara said any negative comments from
the U.S., which has the significant influence in the G7, could
be a serious blow to market sentiment. 
    While the Nikkei stayed in a narrow range, investors focused
on individual stocks based on their earnings, such as Gree,
which disappointed the market with poor earnings and a lower
profit outlook. 
    Gree dropped 16.1 percent and was the eighth most-traded
stock by turnover.
    The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 966.52 in
relatively active trade, with volume at 77 percent of its full
daily average for the past 90 trading days.
    "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 dollar last traded at 93.24 yen, down from a near
33-month high of 94.41 yen hit on Tuesday, while the euro shed
more than one yen to as far as 125.00.
    Investors will likely stay cautious ahead of the outcome of
a Bank of Japan meeting that ends on Thursday, although many
expect it hold off on any fresh easing measures until a new
governor is appointed.
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