Japanese stocks opened flat and then headed lower in early Thursday trade, with the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.3%, almost erasing the previous session's 0.4% advance, after a mixed lead from the U.S. session and little in the way of movement for the yen (the dollar was at �115.48, not far from its level at the previous stock close). The broader Topix was down a more modest 0.1%, suggesting a slight underperformance by the blue chips. Techs and industrials traded mostly lower, with Sharp Corp. and Casio Computer Co. down 1% each, Komatsu Ltd. down 1.2%, Seiko Epson Corp. down 2.1%, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. down 1.5% each, despite data out ahead of the market open showing an unexpected gain in Japan's September core machinery orders. Shares of Fujitsu Ltd. fell 2.4%, getting no help from its announcement that it plans to quadruple the capacity of its Private Hosted Cloud service in North America by January due to strong demand. However, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. gained 0.6%, adding to a rally in the previous session after detailing its stock-buyback and dividend plans. Some blue chips bucked the downtrend, meanwhile, with Honda Motor Co. up 0.6%, Sony Corp. up 0.1%, and Fuji Electric Co. jumping 3.5% for reasons that weren't immediately clear.
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