Japanese stocks rolled back down the hill in early Wednesday trading, with U.S. losses and a listless yen apparently encouraging investors -- including foreign players -- to take a bit more money off the table. The Nikkei Average fell 0.9% in initial trades, swinging the index to a loss for the week after easing 0.1% the day before. The Topix retreated 1.1%, while the yen nosed slightly higher, with the dollar changing hands for �119.62 vs. �119.76 at the previous day's Tokyo stock close. Meanwhile, Dow Jones Newswires reported that the six foreign brokerages it monitors were net sellers of Japanese equities (in terms of their premarket orders) for the first time in 10 days. Auto makers were among the decliners, with Toyota Motor Corp. down 0.8% despite posting a more-than-13% rise in its February U.S. sales from a year earlier, while Nissan Motor Co. -- which saw a forecast-missing 2.7% gain in U.S. sales -- saw its stock drop 1.9%. Honda Motor Co. fell 0.8%, and Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. moved 1.4% lower, but Mitsubishi Motors Corp. managed to squeeze out a 0.1% gain, thanks to a 26% jump in its North American sales. Among the techs, Hitachi Ltd. and Seiko Epson Corp. retreated 1.5% each, Sony Corp. lost 1.6%, and Sharp Corp. extended its Tuesday sell-down with a 3.3% loss, as a new Nikkei report added details to Sharp's efforts to raise fresh funds from its two main creditors. Sharp's rival Japan Display Inc. was a rare advancer, up 1.5%. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. edged up 0.1% as a separate Nikkei report said the steel producer planned to invest about $825 million a year on new equipment and staff.
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