Japan Stocks Retreat In Face Of U.S. Losses, Yen's Gains

Japanese stocks gave ground Monday, taking cues from Friday's losses on Wall Street and some gains for the yen. The Nikkei Average was down 0.8%, though off early losses of around 2%, while the broader Topix was down 0.7% after the Japanese general election produced little in the way of surprises, and as the Bank of Japan's tankan business-sentiment survey yielded mixed results. The U.S. dollar bought �118.31, above its level just ahead of the tankan but still below the �118.73 seen at the previous Tokyo stock close. This, in turn, weighed on the exporters, as Fuji Electric Co. fell 2%, Olympus Corp. lost 2.2%, Hitachi Ltd. gave up 1.6%, Toyota Motor Corp. retreated 1.7%, and Nissan Motor Co. was weaker by 1.8%. Shares of Sony Corp. dropped 2.1% as the conglomerate's Sony Pictures unit continued to suffer from a rash of cyber-attacks that laid bare many of the company's secrets. Among the gainers, Skymark Airlines Inc. jumped 5.4% after seesawing in the previous week's trade amid speculation over whether the discount carrier would enter a code-share deal with larger rivals Japan Airlines Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. . Swiss industry-news website CH-Aviation reported Sunday that Skymark had rejected calls for a three-way alliance. Shares of JAL and ANA fell 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively.

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