Japan Stocks Move Lower As Year Comes To Close

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks tilted lower early Tuesday, the last trading day of the year, with the Nikkei Stock Average down 0.4% after a 0.5% loss the previous day, while the Topix fell 0.3%. The dip for the market came despite reported foreign buying interest, with Dow Jones Newswires saying the six foreign brokerages it monitors had placed buy orders for 1.5 million Japanese shares overnight. Still, many blue chips traded weaker, with Sony Corp. down 1.4%, Panasonic Corp. down 1.3%, Hitachi Ltd. down 0.8%, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. down 0.9%, and Nomura Holdings Inc. off 1%. Auto makers were mixed after Cars.com offered its forecast for U.S. December sales, as Toyota Motor Corp. eased 0.2%, and Honda Motor Co. lost 0.5%, but Nissan Motor Co. rose 0.4%, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. gained 0.7%. Among other advancers, Japan Airlines Co. rose 0.7% following another drop in energy prices, while Toray Industries Inc. rallied 3% as the Nikkei reported the company's nine-month profit would show a 12% rise, helped by strength in its carbon-fiber sales.

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