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Market Update

Nikkei Drops 1.6%, U.S. Urges to Refrain from Yen Devaluation

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 10:06 AM ET April 15 2013

5:30 PM Tokyo Stocks in Tokyo declined after the U.S. plans to ask Japan to refrain from the measures to devalue the yen. The yen gained more than 1%. Exporters and machinery makers declined after China reported a slowdown in economic growth. Sharp plans to sell its stake in Pioneer Corp.

Financial markets eased after a solid rise in the previous week in Tokyo and the U.S. stepped up the pressure to arrest the steep fall in the yen.

The yen rebounded to 98.08 against one dollar after U.S. Treasury Secretary said it will press Japan to refrain from competitive devaluation at the next G20 meeting in Washington this week.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 209.48 or 1.6% to 13,275.66 and the broader Topix Index slumped 14.58 to 1,133.99.

Market indexes were on the slide after the weakness in the U.S. retail sales on Friday and the latest read on Chinese economic growth suggested a decline.

Chinese economic growth in the first quarter to March declined to 7.7% from the December quarter growth of 7.9% when the economy expanded after falling for seven quarters of decline.

For 2012, the economic growth eased to 7.8%, weakest since 1999 as the government clamps down on loan growth and engineers soft landing. China has targeted for the current year economic growth of 7.5% for the current year.

Export sensitive and machinery makers declined after the China report.

Stocks in Review

Pioneer Corp increased 4% to 219 yen after the Nikkei newspaper said Sharp Corp plans to sell its entire stake in the audio instruments maker. Sharp soared 10% to 370 yen.

Nomura slid 0.9% to 779 yen and Dai-Ichi Life Insurance fell 0.5%. Mitsui Fudosan dropped 3.6% and Mitsubishi Estate Co slipped 2.1%.

Toyota Motor Corp slumped 120 yen to 5,540 yen and Honda Motor Co. down 70 yen to 3,885 yen and Nissan Motor Co Ltd dropped 41 yen to 1,011 yen. Yamaha Motor Co Ltd declined 55 yen to 1,316 yen. Mitsubishi Motors Corp lowered to 1 yen to 103 yen.

Nippon Steel slid 6 yen to 252 yen and JFE Holdings Inc slumped 78 yen to 1,952 yen.

Sony fell 1 yen to 1,658. Canon Inc closed unchanged at 3,675 yen and Nikon slipped 46 yen to 2,182 yen. TDK Corp declined 105 yen to 3,210 yen. NEC rose 4 yen to 267 yen.

Nintendo Co. Ltd gained 50 yen to 11,430 yen.

Fanuc Corp. slumped 200 yen to 15,170 yen and Komatsu Ltd dropped 72 yen to 2,433 yen. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co decreased 52 yen to 2,194 yen.

Softbank Corp fell 30 yen to 4,685 yen after Dish Network offered an unsolicited $25.5 billion for Sprint Nextel Corp.

The Dish bid will challenge the offer from Softbank, and is 13% higher.

FamilyMart Co Ltd, the convenience chain operator slipped 70 yen to 4,035 yen and Lawson rose 10 yen to 7,220 yen. Ito En Ltd jumped 32 yen to 2,496 yen.

Seven & I Holdings Co slid 20 yen to 3,605 yen. Fast Retailing Co. slumped 900 yen to 33,350 yen and J. Front Retailing Co. Ltd gained 15 yen to 804 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 10 yen to 663 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropped 155 yen to 4,510 yen. Dai-Ichi Life fell 0.5% to 134,600 yen. Nomura Holdings, Inc slid 7 yen to 779 yen.

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