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Market Update

Japan Trade Deficit Swells to Record $17 Billion in January

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 9:51 AM ET February 20 2013

5:00 PM Tokyo Stocks in Tokyo gained ahead of the central bank leadership change announcement. Trade deficit in January increased to a record high of $17.4 billion on rising energy imports and weakening yen. Toyota plans to increase domestic auto production from April.

Investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the appointment of new leader at the Bank of Japan.

The yen pared decline in the session and market indexes pared gains after trade deficit in January surged to a record 1.63 trillion yen or $17.4 billion on energy imports and weakening yen.

Imports in the month increased 7.3% to 6.43 trillion yen or $68.6 billion and exports gained 6.4% to 4.8 trillion yen or $51.2 billion. Exports to China increased 3%

Exports to the U.S. increased 11% to 839.8 billion or $8.97 billion and imports gained 5.8% to 521.1 billion yen or $5.6 billion. Trade surplus with the U.S. increased 20% to 318.7 billion or $3.4 billion.

The trade deficit in 2012 jumped to a record 6.93 trillion yen or $78.3 billion in 2012.

Investors pinned their hopes on the next U.S.-Japan summit later this weekend and media reports suggested that the U.S. may permit the sale of cheaper natural shale gas to Japan.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 95.94 or 0.8 to 11,468.28 and the broader Topix Index climbed 10.09 or 1.1% to 973.70.

The yen strengthened to 93.52 against one dollar.

Stocks in Review

Japan Tobacco declined 1% to 2,895 yen as the ministry of finance prepared to third of its $10 billion holding in the company to repay for earthquake reconstruction.

Toyota Motor Corp. jumped 80 yen to 4,820 yen and Honda Motor Co. gained 10 yen to 3,500 yen and Nissan Motor Co Ltd fell 2 yen to 938 yen.

Toyota said it plans to increase its domestic auto production from the next financial year on the rising domestic demand and weaker yen.

Mazda Motor Corp added 3 yen to 276 yen. Yamaha Motor Co Ltd climbed 28 yen to 1,065 yen.

Nippon Steel slumped 6 yen to 256 yen and JFE Holdings Inc slipped 35 yen to 2,036 yen.

Ebara Corp declined 7.5% and the maker of hydraulic pumps said it plans to raise as much as 15.2 billion yen through share sale.

Sony rose 4 yen to 1,355. Canon Inc jumped 50 yen to 3,345 yen and Nikon slid 7 yen to 2,140 yen. TDK Corp increased 5 yen to 3,305 yen.

Nintendo Co. Ltd gained 80 yen to 8,760 yen. Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co dropped 14 yen to 460 yen.

Fanuc Corp. added 50 yen to 14,580 yen and Komatsu Ltd up 15 yen to 2,410 yen. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co increased 10 yen to 2,190 yen.

Sumida Corp slid 2 yen to 528 yen. Asahi Glass fell 4 yen to 647 yen. Softbank Corp slipped 15 yen to 3,395 yen.

FamilyMart Co Ltd, the convenience chain operator climbed 75 yen to 3,965 yen and Lawson jumped 90 yen to 7,180 yen. Ito En Ltd advanced 26 yen to 1,862 yen.

Fast Retailing gained 130 yen to 25,450 yen after the company was speculated to target Gap Inc according to a report on CNBC.

Seven & I Holdings Co rose 16 yen to 2,815 yen. Fast Retailing Co. increased 130 yen to 25,450 yen and J. Front Retailing Co. Ltd closed unchanged at 550 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 1 yen to 533 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gained 15 yen to 3,825 yen. Dai-Ichi Life up 0.5% to 134,200 yen. Nomura Holdings, Inc slid 4 yen to 544 yen.

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