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Market Update

Japan's Machinery Orders in March Surge 19.1%, Nikkei Eases

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 9:55 AM ET May 19 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo Ė Japanís machinery orders soared 19.1% in March and reached record not seen since June 2008. Market indexes in Tokyo eased and the yen climbed against the dollar. Aoi Pro. Inc said annual sales increased 9% and net doubled.

Stocks in Tokyo declined following weak international market sentiment and core machinery orders in March increased more than expected.

Japanís cabinet office said core machinery orders in March climbed 19.1% from February to 936.7 billion yen or $9.23 billion, record orders since June 2008.

The highly volatile data series was estimated by economists to show an increase of 6%.

The orders increased 16.1% from a year ago and the orders are proxy to capital spending in the coming six to nine months.

The rise in machine orders was welcomed after investors feared that the economy may hit a soft patch following a jump in sales tax in the current financial year.

After the 1997 tax hike, economy struggled for several quarters before it resumed its normal pace of growth.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 90.15 or 0.6% to 14,006.44 and the Topix index slid 9 to 1,150.07.

The yen closed lower at 101.38 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 63 yen to 5,459 yen. Honda Motor Co rose 20 yen to 3,378 yen. Nissan Motor Co Ltd fell 1% to 885 yen.

Sony slid 19 yen to 1,627 yen.

Softbank Corp slipped 129 yen to 6,766 yen. Fast Retailing Co Ltd dropped 315 yen to 31,395 yen.

Aoi Pro. Inc climbed 3% to 619 yen after the advertising company said net sales in the year ending in March jumped 9.4% to 27.98 billion from 25.57 billion yen a year ago period.

Net income in the year doubled to 645 million yen compared to 310 million yen and diluted earnings per share soared to 52.67 yen from 25.87 yen a year earlier.

Chiome Bioscience Inc tumbled 24.8% to 1,135 yen and the antibody drugs maker changed fiscal year ending from March to December each year.

Hikari Tsushin, Inc slipped 1.9% to 8,080 yen after the electronic device retailer reported net sales in the year ending in March jumped 13% to 565.2 billion yen from 500.3 billion yen a year ago.

Net income in the year surged 73.8% to 29.35 billion yen compared to 16.89 billion yen and diluted earnings per share doubled to 621.31 yen from 342.85 yen a year earlier.

Yahoo Japan Corporation dropped 2.8% to 411 yen after the internet search services provider canceled its plan to buy mobile network operator eAccess from SoftBank Corp in a 324 billion yen or $3.2 billion to create a new mobile internet service.

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