Nikkei extends fall into 4th day as U.S. standoff weighs

Sun Oct 6, 2013 10:06pm EDT

* Nikkei seen hovering near 14,000 amid U.S. uncertainty
    * JAL bucks weakness after seeking revision on Haneda slots

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average extended
losses into a fourth session on Monday after a weekend with
little progress in resolving the U.S. budget standoff left
investors frustrated, with U.S.-reliant exporters like Toyota
Motor coming under pressure.
    The Nikkei was down 0.5 percent at 13,951.84 in midmorning
trade, after dropping 0.9 percent to a one-month closing low on
Friday.
    Republican House Speaker John Boehner vowed on Sunday that
there was "no way" Republican lawmakers would agree to a measure
to raise the debt ceiling unless it included conditions to rein
in deficit spending. 
    The comment raised fears that the U.S. Congress and
President Barack Obama could fail to reach a deal on raising the
ceiling by Oct. 17, when the Treasury has estimated it will have
run out of cash.
    Among exporters with high exposure to the U.S. market,
Toyota Motor Corp fell 0.3 percent, Sony Corp 
shed 0.5 percent and Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd
 dropped 1.6 percent.
    But Japan Airlines Co rose 3 percent after the
airline on Friday asked the government to revise its decision to
allocate the majority of new international slots at Tokyo's
Haneda airport to rival ANA Holdings. 
    "Whether the government will revise this decision is
unknown, but JAL's action is creating hopes that it may," said a
fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm.
    Market observers said Japanese stocks may stay sluggish for
the time being, with the Nikkei hovering around the 14,000-mark.
    "It's scary to either buy or sell while the U.S. situation
could go either way," said Makoto Kikuchi, chief executive of
Myojo Asset Management. "But investors' patience may run out,
and such a mood may trigger a fall in the dollar against the yen
and selling in Japanese shares."
    Japanese equity markets have been under pressure as the
deadline to raise the U.S. federal borrowing limit gets closer.
The Nikkei is down 5.8 percent from a two-month high hit in
September after the Federal Reserve surprised markets by
deciding not to start tapering its monetary stimulus just yet.
    Some remain cautiously optimistic.
    "I think those who wanted to take profits from the recent
rises are using this event as a reason to do so. If the market
is sold to a comfortable level, such dips will create bargain
hunting opportunities," said Toru Ibayashi, executive director
at UBS Securities.
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