* Quarterly pretax loss 6.3 bln yen vs 24.3 bln profit yr
* No 2012/13 earnings forecast
* Shares down 0.3 pct after results
TOKYO, April 20JFE Holdings Inc, the
world's No. 5 steelmaker, booked a smaller-than-expected
quarterly loss as the yen's drop from a record high and
recovering Japanese car production offset slower export demand.
Japanese steelmakers, which sell more than half of their
products overseas, are struggling with weaker exports because of
a slowing economy in China, the world's biggest consumer of the
alloy used in construction, ships and cars.
Still, the yen's decline to 80 against the U.S. dollar from
a record high of 75.7 in October and a recovery in domestic auto
output after the earthquake and tsunami last year are helping to
bolster steelmakers' earnings.
JFE booked 6.3 billion yen ($77 million) in recurring loss,
which is before tax and special items, for January to March, the
company said on Friday. The steelmaker said in January it
estimated a loss of 19.31 billion yen.
The company reported recurring profit of 24.3 billion yen in
the corresponding period a year earlier.
The stock fell 0.3 percent after the earnings announcement.
Shares in JFE have risen about 10 percent since the start of
2012, outperforming its bigger rivals Nippon Steel Corp's
6 percent gain and POSCO's 0.6 percent
($1 = 81.5450 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Ryan Woo)