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Market Update

Markets in Tokyo and Asia Rebound, Japanese Auto Sales Rise 14.7%

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 10:53 AM ET March 04 2014

4:30 PM Tokyo – Market sentiment in Asia and in Japan recovered and the Nikkei and Topix indexes added 0.5% and the yen eased 0.4% to drop below 102 against one U.S. dollar. Real estate companies led the gainers. Human error in Osaka trading halted Nikkei 225 futures for more than 20 minutes.

Market indexes in Tokyo rebounded after sentiment recovered and the yen eased against international currencies.

Tensions in Ukraine remained high and the standoff in Crimea continued as Western and NATO nations prepare to offer concrete military and financial support to the interim government in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said for now there is no need to carry out a military strike in Crimea or Eastern Ukraine but he demanded $2 billion of back pay from Ukraine for Gazprom, Russia’s largest natural gas company.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said total passenger car sales in February climbed 14.7% to 300,007 vehicles and truck sales soared 17.3% to 35,093 units. Bus sales surged 17.7% to 1,076 units from a year earlier.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 69.25 or 0.5% to 14,721.48 and the Topix index rose 7.35 to 1,204.11.

The yen eased to 101.80 against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks in Review

Toyota Motor Corp rose 38 yen to 5,811 yen after the automobile company reported February sales in the U.S. dropped 4% to 154,866 units.

Honda Motor Co fell 24 yen to 3,685 yen the Japanese automaker said China sales in February climbed 27.6% to 40,858 units from a year earlier. Sales in the U.S. declined 7%.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd slumped 1.1% to 895 yen and the automaker said sales in the U.S. climbed 15.8% to 115,630 while Infiniti sales were up 6.4%.

Sony slid 14 yen to 1,746 yen.

Softbank Corp gained 48 yen to 7,474 yen.

Fast Retailing Co jumped 410 yen to 35,890 yen said same-store sales at its Uniqlo clothing outlets in Japan grew 0.8% in February from a year ago month.

Kobe Steel, Ltd closed unchanged at 138 yen after the Japan-based steel producer said its trading affiliate Shinsho Corp. agreed with three other companies to consider setting up a joint venture in Mexico.

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