Japan Stocks Dragged Lower As Yen Surges; Nintendo Adds To Big Gains

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks opened lower Thursday, briefly flipped into positive territory, but then quickly returned to losses as a surge in the Japanese yen limited gains for the key blue-chip exporter shares. The Nikkei Stock Average moved 0.4% lower, while the broader Topix took a 0.3% loss, though the extent of the retreat was limited by strength in some individual names, as well as a general boost to sentiment from a U.S. share rally overnight. After sitting comfortably above the �121 level during the previous stock session, the dollar was down more than a full yen to �119.73 after the Federal Reserve appeared in less of a rush to raise interest rates as some had thought. The forex headwinds blew shares of TDK Corp. back 1.4%, NEC Corp. down 1.9%. Sony Corp. fell 1.6% after that stock rallied in the previous session on the back of the conglomerate's delayed fiscal-third-quarter results. But some of the blue-chip exporters saw strong buying interest, with Nintendo Co. jumping 17% after ending the previous session with a limit-up gain of 21% on news of its tie-up with DeNa Co. to make mobile games, a long-awaited development for Nintendo. Shares of DeNa remained bid-only half an hour into the session. Olympus Corp. , meanwhile, rose 2.9%, with investors apparently unperturbed by news of a third lawsuit against the company linked to an endoscope blamed for the spread of a super-bug in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration has declined to take action against Olympus, citing the need for the endoscope in question. Shares of Sharp Corp. added 1.7%, meanwhile, with the Nikkei business daily reporting the company may cut more than 10% of its Japan workforce.

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