Japan Stocks Expand Losses After Tankan, Yen Gains

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Japan stocks extended their downward drive early Wednesday, with domestic data, foreign stock cues and the yen all playing a role in the losses. The Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.7% on top of the previous day's 1.1% pullback, while the broader Topix gave up 0.8%. The moves followed a sharp decline for U.S. indexes, as well as the Bank of Japan's closely watched quarterly "tankan" business-sentiment survey, which showed indexes for the largest enterprises missing expectations from a Wall Street Journal survey and forecasting a drop in capital spending this fiscal year. While the yen showed no immediate response to the tankan, it began rising once the stock market opened, with the U.S. dollar dropping back below the �120 mark. Among the blue-chip exporters, Fujitsu Ltd. and Canon Inc. fell 0.9% each, Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.3%, and Nissan Motor Co. gave up 2%. Shares of Sony Corp. rose 1.2%, however, with the action following a settlement between its U.S. videogame unit and the Federal Trade Commission over false-advertising claims related to its PS Vita console. Retailers also saw some weakness, as J. Front Retailing Co. lost 1.9%, Lawson Inc. fell 2.2%, and ABC-Mart Inc. traded down 4.7% after a Nikkei news report said the shoe-store operator saw improved operating profit in the last fiscal year but same-store sales for the current year ending in February 2016 would be flat. Among the notable gainers, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. rose 2.6% after a separate Nikkei report said the company would become more activist in its investments, moving "to oust ineffective outside directors and demanding higher payouts."

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