Japan Stocks Fall On Yen, With China Data On Tap

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks dipped out of the Wednesday market open, feeling the weight of solid gains for the yen, but with reports citing investor caution ahead of Chinese economic data -- including first-quarter economic growth -- due out later in the morning. The Nikkei Average was down 0.3%, with a 0.4% drop for the Topix, as the dollar traded more than a full yen lower than at the previous Tokyo stock close, buying �119.53, down from �120.74. The forex moves, as well as earnings from Intel Corp. which included projections for flat revenue in 2015, appeared to drag on techs (though Intel stocks themselves rose in U.S. after-hours trade). Tokyo Electron Ltd. , Hitachi Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. all fell 1.4% each, while Advantest Corp. lost 1.2%, and Trend Micro Inc. gave up 1.7%. Among other decliners, NTT DoCoMo Inc. was down 1.2%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. retreated by 0.7%, and Rakuten Inc. weakened by 1%. Still, some of the previous session's top gainers extended their winnings, with Sony Corp. up 0.3% (it rose 2.2% Tuesday) and Softbank Corp. up 1.2% (after a 2% gain on the back of upbeat comments from Nomura analysts). Likewise, Obayashi Corp. added 1.6% after raising forecasts for its fiscal-year net profit and dividend a day earlier. Stock in utility Kansai Electric Power Co. advanced 1.9%, even as a Japanese court blocked the reopening of two Kansai nuclear-power plants shuttered since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

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