PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - March 23
March 23 The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
(Corrects to add billion in third bullet) * Weak yen trend underpins market * Canon, Nintendo suffer as investors disappoint with guidance * Shiseido falls after writing down $1.9 bln U.S. acquisition By Dominic Lau TOKYO, April 25 Japan's Nikkei share average edged higher to a near five-year high on Thursday, but the mood was tempered by sharp losses for Canon Inc and Nintendo Co Ltd as they failed to meet investors' lofty expectations of strong earnings guidance. Market analysts had expected long suffering Japanese companies will aggressively raise their earnings guidance for the financial year after the yen has weakened more than 14 percent this year, driven by bold government and the central policies to revive growth. Canon Inc sank 5 percent, retreating from a one-year high, after the camera-and-printer maker lifted its annual operating profit forecast by nearly 10 percent to 450 billion yen ($4.5 billion), but below a market consensus of 510 billion yen. It was the second top-weighted loser and the fourth-most traded stock on the main board by turnover. Rival Nikon Corp eased 1.5 percent. The Nikkei added 0.2 percent to 13,869.92 after trading as high as 13,906.76, its highest level in nearly five years, helped by a weak yen and gains for some exporters. The index jumped 2.3 percent on Wednesday. A sales trader at a Japanese brokerage house said the selling was linked to earnings, but added that it was a short term phenomenon. "On a longer term basis, the conclusion is that yen FX weakness is helping," he said. Gains in Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co , TDK Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp helped underpin the Nikkei. They were up between 1 and 3.3 percent. The benchmark Nikkei has rallied 60 percent since mid-November, when Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister in December, promised expansionary monetary and fiscal policies to revive the world's third-largest economy. Nintendo Co Ltd also suffered, down 5.5 percent despite the maker of home video games lifting its forecast for an operating profit of 100 billion yen after two years of losses. The broader Topix index gained 0.5 percent to 1,169.94. Shiseido Co Ltd was the fifth top-weighted loser in the Nikkei, down 3.4 percent after the cosmetic company forecast its first net loss in eight years after saying it would write down the $1.9 billion acquisition of U.S. Bare Escentuals due to disappointing sales. Investors remained upbeat on the outlook for Japanese stocks, although government data showed foreign investors were net sellers of Japanese equities last week, with a net outflow of 27.9 billion yen after they bought 1.57 trillion yen of equities in the previous week. "Dollar strength is a headwind for emerging markets equities and we would use a bounce to reduce exposure further. Japan is our favourite equity market," Trevor Greetham, director of asset allocation at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, wrote in a note. "Japan benefits from dollar strength and it has very positive domestic policy settings from an equity investors' point of view." In terms of valuations, Japanese equities carry a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14.9, a level not seen since June 2010 but is still below its 10-year average of 16.3, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream. ($1 = 99.3750 Japanese yen) (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
BEIJING, March 23 China's General Administration of Customs published the revised trade data for February on Thursday: