Japan Stocks Fall Further As Yen Rebounds

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Japanese stocks swung lower Wednesday under pressure from a stronger yen and weaker U.S. shares overnight, with the Nikkei Average down 0.6% a day after snapping its 12-session winning streak. The Topix softened by 0.5%. Dollar weakness drove a solid rebound for the yen, with the greenback dropping to �124.08 after briefly breaking above the �125 handle the previous day. The forex action and the recent run-up in Tokyo shares helped to drive selling interest in the blue-chip exporters, with Hitachi Ltd. down 1.3%, Canon Inc. down 0.8%, robot-builder Fanuc Corp. down 1.4%, and Apple Inc. supplier Murata Manufacturing Co. down 1.2%. The big auto makers were mixed following the release of U.S. sales numbers for May. Toyota Motor Corp. fell 0.5% after its U.S. Toyota division posted a 1.6% drop in unit sales, though the company's Lexus unit saw a more than 10% gain. Likewise, Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. fell 1%, but Honda Motor Co. gained 0.7%, and Nissan Motor Co. rose 0.6% despite a 0.8% May sales drop in the U.S., offset by a 0.9% rise in sales of its Infiniti models. Among related names, Bridgestone Corp. retreated 2.6%, but Takata Corp. managed to rise 1.3% after a U.S. Takata executive testified to Congress. In the contruction materials and fixtures sector, Lixil Group Corp. rallied 4.2% after a Nikkei news report said the company would post a loss slightly wider than previously forecast due to the bankruptcy of its Joyou subsidiary, with investors apparently relieved all the same. Stock in Nippon Sheet Glass Co. rose 2.2% on a separate Nikkei report that the company was boosting production at its Malaysian automotive-glass plant by 50%.

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