Nikkei at 2-week low after BOJ quells stimulus hopes; yen hits exporters

Tue Apr 8, 2014 10:13pm EDT

* Nikkei down for 4th day, falling below 200-day moving
average
    * Yen surges after BOJ Gov Kuroda dismisses additional
stimulus
    * Currency-sensitive automakers lead losses
    * Rising Ukraine tension weighs on risk appetite
    * FamilyMart tumbles after earnings report

    By Tomo Uetake
    TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average hit
a two-week low on Wednesday morning after Bank of Japan Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda's comments the previous day raised doubts over
whether the BOJ will ease its policy stance anytime soon,
sending the yen higher.
    The benchmark Nikkei shed 1.5 percent to 14,391.13,
its lowest level since March 27, falling below its 200-day
moving average of 14,589.51. The index lost 3.1 percent in the
last three sessions and down nearly 12 percent this year.
    "It's been a pretty crazy market. Expectations of policy
support for Japan are waning," said Stefan Worrall, director of
equity cash sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.
    "Even though there were no expectations that the BOJ or
(Governor Haruhiko) Kuroda would do anything yesterday, it does
seem maybe an opportunity to act proactively or preemptively has
been missed. Other central bank policymakers seem to have a
significantly more dovish stance."
    On Tuesday, Kuroda dismissed market expectations the BOJ
could ease again soon to soften the blow from the tax rise that
took effect April 1, stressing a short-term disruption was
unlikely to derail a steady recovery already
underway. 
    The dollar skidded more than 1 percent against the yen in
its biggest one-day fall in over seven months to 101.55 yen
. It has since drifted back up to 101.92.
    Currency-sensitive automakers saw a broad sell-off, with
Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Mazda
Motor Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd 
falling between 2.2 and 3.5 percent.
    The stronger yen erodes exporters' competitiveness and their
 earnings when repatriated.
    All the 33 sector indexes fell, with notable decliners
including the sea transport sector and real estate
companies, which lost 4 percent and 3.5 percent,
respectively.
    FamilyMart Co tumbled 7.4 percent to six-month lows
after one of the country's largest convenience store chain
operators reported a profit outlook that slightly fell short of
market expectations. 
    Bucking the overall weakness, Yahoo Japan Corp 
climbed 4.5 percent as U.S. internet shares rebounded and after
the Nikkei business daily reported the Japanese net portal plans
to add Chinese online settlement Alipay as payment option, a
move it hopes will attract Chinese customers.
    Rising tensions in Ukraine also tempered investor appetite
for risk. Armed pro-Moscow protesters were still occupying
Ukrainian government buildings in two cities in the largely
Russian-speaking east on Tuesday, although police ended a third
occupation in a lightning night-time operation. 
    The broader Topix dropped 1.8 percent to 1,153.38 in
moderate trade, with trading volume at 32.8 percent of the full
daily average for the past 90 days.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a recently introduced
gauge comprised of companies with a high return on equity and
robust corporate governance, dipped 1.8 percent to 10,487.66.

 (Editing by Eric Meijer)
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