4:30 PM Tokyo – Economy in Japan grew at a slower pace than initially estimated in the last quarter of 2014. For the entire year, after the revision, the economy contracted for the first time in three years.
Market sentiment in Tokyo and in Asia was weaker after the U.S. dollar extended gains across all major currencies.
The yen weakened to a low not last seen since July 20, 2007 on the resurgent dollar and weaker than expected economic expansion in the final quarter of 2014.
Japan revised lower its estimate of gross domestic product in December quarter to annual rate of 1.5% from the previous estimate of 2.2% increase.
On a quarterly basis, growth was revised downward to 0.4% from the previous estimate of 0.6%.
With the revision, the annual GDP in 2014 turned to a small contraction of 0.03% from the previous estimate of a slight expansion of 0.04%.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 125.44 or 0.7% to 18,665.11 and the broader Topix index fell 7.01 to 1,524.75.
The yen eased and extended losses to 121.83 against a dollar.
Stocks in Review
Hakuhodo Dy Holdings Inc
slipped 1.9% to 1,305 yen after the advertising and marketing services provider stated total sales in February surged 52.8% to 52.48 billion yen from a year ago month and cumulative sales for the year to February jumped to 581.52 billion yen compared to the year ago period.
McDonald''s Holdings Co (Japan) Ltd
fell 1.1% to 2,621 yen after the fast-food restaurant operator reported total sales in February plunged 28.9% and same-store sales declined 28.7%.
The restaurant said total sales and same-store sales in January dropped 38.6%.
Ryohin Keikaku Co Ltd
decreased 1.1% to 16,750 yen after the Nikkei news reported self-branded goods retailer’s pre-tax profit for the year ending in February may climb 10% to 26 billion yen or $213 million.
Operating revenue estimated to surge 18% to about 260 billion yen mainly due to higher demand for clothing and cosmetics in China and South Korea.
rose 0.6% to 5,280 yen after the construction company reported net sales in the nine-month period ending in January jumped 6% to 191.16 billion yen from 180.30 billion yen a year ago period.
Net income in the period surged 28.7% to 3.23 billion yen compared to 2.51 billion yen and earnings per share increased to 239.77 yen from 186.24 yen in the same period a year ago.
For the year, the company forecasted net sales to climb 5.3% to 266.61 billion yen and net income to soar 12% to 5.90 billion yen.