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Market Update

Current Account Woes in Japan, Nikkei Rises 1.8%

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 2:10 AM ET February 10 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo Japan reported record low annual current account surplus in 2013. Deficit in December widened to 638 billion yen and imports rose more than exports in the month on higher demand for energy. The yen traded above 104 against one dollar.

Investor confidence rebounded and market indexes surged in Tokyo despite a record low annual current account surplus in 2013.

Today the Ministry of Finance said current account deficit for December widened to 638.6 billion yen or $6.2 billion compared to 592.8 billion yen in November.

Exports in December jumped 15.6% to 5.86 trillion yen from a year ago and from 5.63 trillion yen a month earlier. Imports surged 25.3% to 7.07 trillion yen a year earlier and from 6.89 trillion yen in November.

For the fiscal 2013, current-account surplus declined 31.5% to 3.31 trillion yen from 4.82 trillion yen surplus in 2012. The trade deficit for the year was 10.64 trillion yen following 5.81 trillion yen decline in last year.

The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index fell 1.2 points to 40.5 in January and from 41.3 in December followed by first drop in last two months after a 1.3 point rise to 42.5 in November and a 4.2 point slump to 41.2 in October.

The yen rose to 101.44 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp gained 94 yen to 5,994 yen after the Nikkei reported the carmaker plans to halt production as early as 2017 in Australia to reduce the costs, but will continue to sell the cars in the island nation.

Honda Motor Co rose 32 yen to 3,712 yen.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd added 1 yen to 885 yen after the automobile company reported net revenue in the third-quarter surged 19.7% to 7.94 trillion yen from 6.08 trillion yen a year ago.

Net income in the quarter jumped 18.4% to 274.1 billion yen compared to 231.4 billion yen and earnings per share increased to 65.40 yen from 55.22 yen a year earlier.

Sony increased 11 yen to 1,702 yen.

Softbank Corp soared 422 yen or 5.7% to 7,797 yen. Fast Retailing Co jumped 1,075 yen to 37,335 yen.

Asahi Glass Co Ltd plunged 6.7% to 544 yen after the Japan-based glass maker said net sales in the year ending in December jumped 10.9% to 1.32 trillion yen from 1.19 trillion yen a year ago.

Profit for the year tumbled 63.8% to 19 billion yen compared to 52.5 billion yen and diluted earnings per share declined to 13.73 yen from 39.45 yen a year ago.

Olympus Corporation climbed 7.2% to 3,335 yen after the Japan-based medical equipments maker reported net sales in the third-quarter ending in December dropped 8.5% to 513.7 billion yen from 561.2 billion yen a year earlier.

Net profit for quarter declined 23.4% to 5.84 billion yen compared to 7.62 billion yen.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc