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Nikkei falls on strong yen, volume lower before U.S. election
November 6, 2012 / 6:45 AM / 5 years ago

Nikkei falls on strong yen, volume lower before U.S. election

* USD/JPY falls below 80 in afternoon
    * Volume low as investors stay on sidelines
    * Dainippon Screen plunges on outlook cut

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Tuesday, ending below the 9,000 mark as a stronger yen hit
exporters such as carmakers while investors steered clear of big
positions ahead of the the U.S. election result.
     The euro languished near a two-month low versus the dollar
on Tuesday, its outlook clouded by uncertainty over a Greek
parliamentary vote on austerity steps needed for Athens to
secure international aid. 
    The Nikkei finished down 0.4 percent at 8,975.15.
The broader Topix was also 0.4 percent lower at 744.88.
    Volume was slightly lower at 1.53 billion shares compared
with last week's daily average of 1.8 billion shares.
    Traders said that investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of
a tight U.S. presidential race.
    National opinion polls show President Barack Obama and
Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a virtual dead heat,
although Obama has a slight advantage in several vital swing
states. 
    "Even after the result is out, there are still negative
issues," said Naoki Fujiwara, a fund manager at Shinkin Asset
Management. "Worries about the Greek economy linger, therefore
people cannot go long."
    But other analysts said that despite those concerns,
investors' risk appetite may return as long as the long-term
weak yen trend lasts.
    "Investors' eyes will likely continue being glued to the
dollar-yen moves, but it's not because corporate earnings are
really influenced by tiny currency moves, but the currency moves
determine investors' risk appetite," said Yoshito Sakakibara,
vice president and economist at JPMorgan Asset Management. 
    "When investors want to take risks, they sell the yen and
buy Japanese stocks, and that trend was seen until investors
stayed on the sidelines before the election."
    The euro eased 0.1 percent to $1.2786, staying near
the previous day's low of $1.2767 set on trading platform EBS,
the single currency's lowest level in about two months. 
    The dollar traded at 80.020 yen after falling below 80 yen
in afternoon trade, which added pressure on the market. The
dollar had rallied to a six-month high of 80.68 yen on Friday
after data showed the U.S. economy created more jobs than
expected last month.
    The euro's weakness dragged down carmakers, with Honda Motor
Corp shedding 1.0 percent to 2,471 yen and Nissan Motor
Corp falling 2.0 percent to 677 yen.
    The benchmark Nikkei is up 6.1 percent this year, trailing a
12.7 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 11.7 percent
gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index.
    Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co Ltd plunged 16
percent to 406 yen, hitting a three-week low after the precision
machinery maker cut its annual forecast to an operating loss of
7 billion yen from a previous estimate of a 3.5 billion yen
profit, reflecting a slowdown in demand for semiconductor
production equipments.
    Resources shares gained helped by rising crude prices, with
Inpex Corp rising 2.3 percent to 444,500 yen and
Mitsubishi Corp adding 0.7 percent to 1,463 yen.

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