Nikkei drops after disappointing U.S. earnings, pause in yen

Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:12pm EST

* Nikkei down 0.8 pct, Topix off 0.3 pct
    * Ibiden falls on lukewarm Intel forecast
    * But Mitsubishi Motors surges to 5-month high

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks dropped on Friday
morning, following Wall Street lower in the wake of
disappointing U.S. corporate earnings, while exporters sagged as
the weak-yen trend took a pause.
    Bucking the weakness, Mitsubishi Motors Corp jumped
as much as 11 percent to a five-month high, as some short-term
investors cut their short positions in the Japanese automaker
that they had been building up ahead of a public share
offering. 
    The Nikkei average was down 0.8 percent at 15,624.59
in midmorning trade, falling for a second day and trading below
its 25-day moving average of 15,736.83. The benchmark has shed
1.5 percent so far this week.
    Goldman Sachs and Citigroup reported weaker-than-expected
results on Thursday, confounding expectations for good results
among U.S. financial firms following upbeat earnings from Bank
Of America and Wells Fargo earlier this week. 
    "U.S. companies whose earnings have a big impact on the
global economy disappointed the market, so it is triggering
selling," said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist
at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
    He added that investors were reducing their positions before
a three-day weekend in the United States, where markets will be
closed on Monday for a public holiday.
    Ibiden Co, which supplies Intel Corp with flip-chip
substrate packages, slipped 1.3 percent after the U.S. chipmaker
reported a lukewarm revenue forecast. 
    Among exporters, Nissan Motor Co shed 0.6 percent,
Sony Corp dropped 1.7 percent and Panasonic Corp
 fell 2.1 percent, as the dollar eased from a one-week
peak to 104.31 yen.
    The broader Topix was down 0.3 percent at 1,290.27.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a recently introduced
gauge comprised of firms with high return on equity and strong
corporate governance, was flat at 11,678.54.
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