Japan Stocks Fall Hard After Yen Rebounds

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks traded at a significant discount in early Wednesday action, with the Nikkei Average losing 1.4%, and the broader Topix down 1.6%. Overnight U.S. losses and the International Monetary Fund's latest cuts to its world economic forecasts played a role in the retreat, but a rebound for the yen appeared to exert the largest influence, given the underperformance in the most currency-sensitive names. As the dollar sat at �108.03 just before the open, down from �108.54 at the previous close, and with the euro also shedding about half a yen to �136.98, Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. dropped 2% each, Hitachi Ltd. plunged 4.5%, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. retreated by 3.2%, Japan Display Inc. gave up 3%, Nissan Motor Co. lost 2%, and Mazda Motor Corp. was weaker by 4.7%. Shares of Asahi Glass Co. pulled back by 2.3% as the Nikkei business daily tipped its January-September operating profit to have decreased by 20% from the same period in 2013. Among the few advancers, Konica Minolta Inc. added 0.8% after unveiling "smart glass" with a full-color holographic display at this year's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, Japan's top tech trade show.

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