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Market Update

Japan's Trade Deficit in April Narrows, BoJ Leaves Policy Intact

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 12:35 PM ET May 21 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo – Bank of Japan left its ultra-accommodative monetary policy intact and offered a positive assessment of the economy after a two-day meeting. Japan’s trade deficit in April shrank after imports eased.

Market indexes in Tokyo closed lower and the Bank of Japan completed its 2-day meeting with no new announcement.

The statement issued by the central bank offered an upbeat assessment of the economy and forecasted “to continue a moderate recovery as a trend.”

The central bank kept its ultra-accommodative policy in place and dashed hopes of additional stimulus measures.

April trade deficit in Japan narrowed after the yen gained and imports eased on higher sales tax on consumer goods.

The Ministry of Finance said trade deficit in April narrowed to 808.9 billion compared to 877.4 billion yen a year earlier, according to the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Finance.

Exports climbed 5.1% to 6.07 trillion yen while imports jumped 3.4% to 6.88 trillion yen or $68 billion from April 2013.

Trade deficit in the month declined to 808.9 billion yen or $8 billion from 1.7 trillion yen in March. Deficit in the year ago month was 877.4 billion yen.

The trade surplus with Japan declined 2.8% from a year ago month to 547.5 billion yen or $5.4 billion but deficit with China increased 3.5% to 461.1 billion yen or $4.5 billion.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 33.08 or 0.2% to 14,042.17 and the Topix index slid 3.33 to 1,150.05.

The yen closed lower at 101.23 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp slipped 48 yen to 5,420 yen. Honda Motor Co rose 5 yen to 3,407 yen. Nissan Motor Co Ltd closed unchanged at 896 yen.

Sony fell 11 yen to 1,614 yen.

Softbank Corp gained 28 yen to 6,824 yen. Fast Retailing Co Ltd dropped 340 yen to 31,450 yen.

Innotech Corporation slipped 1.8% to 435 yen after the automation software developer said net sales in the year ending in March jumped 14.8% to 23.58 billion yen from 20.55 billion yen a year ago period.

Net income in the year rose 1% to 527 million yen compared to 522 million yen and diluted earnings per share increased to 29.47 yen from 29.34 yen a year earlier.

Komori Corporation climbed 3.1% to 1,228 yen after the printing equipment maker reported net sales in the year ending in March soared 31.5% to 91.84 billion yen from 69.82 billion yen a year ago.

Net in the year swung to profit 13.66 billion yen compared to a loss of 1.90 billion yen and earnings per share swung to 220.39 yen from a loss of 30.66 yen a year earlier.

Nihon Enterprise Co., Ltd plunged 8.8% to 217 yen after the mobile content provider lowered its revenue forecast for the year to 4.51 billion yen from 5 billion yen in fiscal 2013 and net income to decline 27% to 415 million yen compared to 569 million a year ago.

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