July 24, 2013 / 1:30 AM / 4 years ago

Nikkei edges down on strong yen; Nidec, Apple-related shares shine

* Strong yen hurts exporters
    * Nidec surges on profit outlook hike
    * Apple-related shares outperform
    * Investors hesitate to push Nikkei above 15,000 - analyst

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, July 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share edged down
on Wednesday morning as a strong yen snapped a two-day rally,
but declines were contained by gains in Apple Inc 
related stocks after the iPhone-maker reported stellar sales. 
    Investors were also cautious before Chinese manufacturing
data due later in the day, which kept a check on activity.
    China is Japan's second biggest export market.
    Traders said that individual earnings news was lifting
interest in some stocks such as Nidec Corp, as
attention shifted to the April-June earnings season that kicks
off this week.
    The Nikkei dropped 0.3 percent to 14,730.21 during
mid-morning trade.
    Exporters were down as the dollar traded below 100 yen, with
Toyota Motor Corp shedding 0.8 percent, Sharp Corp 
falling 0.7 percent and Toshiba Corp dropping 0.6
percent.
    Apple's better-than-expected fiscal third quarter revenue on
solid sales of its flagship iPhone had a positive impact on the
market, with manufacturers which provide parts to Apple
including Taiyo Yuden Co and Rohm Co jumping
1.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.    
    Analysts said that investors are reluctant to push the
Nikkei above a psychological resistance level of 15,000 due to
underlying worries about the impact from plans by the U.S.
Federal Reserve to taper its stimulus later this year.
    "Investors rather want to focus on individual stocks with
good earnings than buying Nikkei index futures as a whole. They
have become picky," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment
strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
    "They have turned 'risk on' as (Fed Chairman) Bernanke has
alleviated worries of imminent tapering, but as the U.S. economy
shows a recovery, it's a matter of time that the Fed again
signals scaling back its stimulus and the market becomes 'risk
off'. So the Japanese market will probably stall for a while."
    However, some analysts expect Japan's economic recovery
hopes to limit the negative impact from Fed's potential tapering
in the mid-term.
    Japan's government raised its view on the economy for a
third straight month in July and said deflation was abating as a
result of the nation's expansionary policy mix of monetary
easing and generous spending, which were adopted by Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe.
    The Nikkei has shed 7.6 percent since its May 23 peak of
15,942.60, but is still up more than percent this year.
    The Topix dropped 0.5 percent to 1,216.70.
    "There are few risks in the domestic market, so although the
Japanese market may continue to be hit by global market factors,
the Nikkei should be fairly resilient," said Hiroichi Nishi, an
assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.
    On Wednesday, Nidec surged 8.0 percent and was the third
most traded stock by turnover after it hiked its operating
profit outlook for the year ending March 2014 by 5 billion yen
to 75 billion yen on Tuesday, due to increasing sales for
industrial motors.
    On the downside, Advantest Corp dropped as much as
4.3 percent after the Nikkei newspaper said the company is
expected to report an operating loss of nearly 3 billion yen
($30 million) for the April-June quarter.

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