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Market Update

Japan's Growth Estimate Lowered, Current Account in 4th Monthly Deficit

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 2:42 AM ET March 10 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo Ė Japanís current account swung to a record deficit for the fourth month in a row in January. Japan also lowered its GDP growth estimate to 0.7% from 1% in December quarter. Japan Display priced its public offering at 900 yen a share.

Stocks in Tokyo declined after the government lowered its economic assessment for the December quarter and current account deficit rose to a record since the data collection began in 1985.

The Cabinet Office today lowered its estimate of gross domestic product increase to 0.7% annualized rate in the December quarter from the previous estimate of 1%.

Business investment growth was lowered to 0.8% from the earlier quarter from the preliminary increase estimate of 1.3%.

The Finance Ministry said Japanís current-account deficit in January widened to 1.59 trillion yen or $15.4 billion from 348.4 billion yen a year earlier, record since the data keeping began in 1985.

The ministry added, the current-account swung to a deficit for the fourth month in a row.

Exports jumped 16.7% to 5.52 trillion yen while imports surged 30.3% to 7.86 trillion yen.

Market sentiment was weak after China also reported a plunge in exports in February and set target of 7.5% growth in the current year.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 153.93 or 1% to 15,120.14 and the Topix index slid 9.36 to 1,227.61.

The yen eased to 103.28 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 68 yen to 5,821 yen the car-maker will recall 7,067 Highlander, the sports utility vehicle in the U.S. market to fix seat belt problems.

Honda Motor Co declined 78 yen to 3,732 yen. Nissan Motor Co Ltd slid 0.8% to 892 yen.

Sony gained 20 yen to 1,864 yen agreed to sell the NS Building and its first headquarter to Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Ltd for 16.1 billion yen. The deal is expected to close by the end of April.

Sony expects to realize a gain on the sale of about 10 billion yen.

Softbank Corp slipped 61 yen to 7,973 yen after the unit of mobile communication service provider made a strategic investment in an online education company owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Fast Retailing Co dropped 710 yen to 37,690 yen.

Japan Display Inc., the display for mobile equipment maker raised about 318.5 billion yen after pricing its initial public offering at a price of at 900 yen per share.

The company sold 140 million new shares. According to the filings, Sony Corp. offered 213.9 million of its existing shares.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd, the Japan-based non-life insurance company announced it will team up with AXA Corporate Solutions SA of France and Assicurazioni Generali SpA of Italy to boost non-life insurance services for its corporate clients.

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