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Market Update

Japanese Shippers Surge on Freight Rate Hike, Automakers in Focus

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 10:47 AM ET September 05 2013

4:30 PM Tokyo After a day of volatile trading stocks in Tokyo closed lower and the yen weakened for the third day in a row. Shipping companies traded higher after freight rate index soared 4%. Japanese auto makers reported strong auto sales in August in the U.S.

Stocks in Tokyo closed higher in choppy trading and investors shifted focus to domestic stocks and upcoming policy announcements later in the week.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 10.95 or 0.1% to 14,064.82 and the Topix closed up at 1.54 to 1,157.84.

The yen weakened 0.1% to 99.98.

In trading, shipping companies led the gainers after ocean freight rates increased and exports from China were deemed to rise.

The Baltic Dry Index soared 4% to 1,215, the index tracks commodities shipping prices on most popular world ocean routes.

In addition, auto stocks were in focus after four largest automakers reported rising August month sales in the U.S. Toyota deliveries soared 23% and Honda sales surged 27%.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp rose 20 yen to 6,250 yen after the carmaker recalled cars to fix hybrid system inverter. The auto maker plans to recall 141,000 vehicles in North America, 37,000 vehicles in Europe and 15,000 vehicles in Japan.

Separately, the company recalled approximately 169,000 vehicles including Lexus GS and IS 350 due to engine assembly process problem.

Honda Motor Co. jumped 85 yen to 3,760 yen after U.S. sales soared 26.7% to 166,432 units in August from 131,321 units in the same month last year.

In the month, car sales soared 26% to 91,536 units and truck sales jumped 27.5% to 74,896 units.

The Honda Division recorded sales in August surged 29% to 149,381 units and Acura Division sales increased 9% to 17,051 units.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd gained 6 yen to 1,019 yen.

Sony added 17 yen to 2,076 yen. Softbank Corp fell 20 yen to 6,520 yen and Fast Retailing Co. climbed 150 yen to 34,200 yen.

Nomura Holdings, Inc rose 0.3% to 742 yen after the brokerage company reduced its stake in Ashikaga Holdings Co by 21 billion yen.

Otsuka Holdings Co Ltd dropped 1% to 2,950 yen after the Japan-based pharmaceutical company plans to buy U.S.-based oncology drug developer Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for 90 billion yen or $900 million.

Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co., Ltd surged 7.9% to 557 yen after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its view on the company.

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