Japan Stocks Slip, With Canon Falling On Earnings

Japanese stocks shimmied lower in early Tuesday action, with earnings in focus as a mixed U.S. lead and a flat yen (at �107.89 to the dollar ) did no special favors for the market. The Nikkei Stock Average traded 0.3% lower, with the Topix taking a milder 0.1% loss. Shares of Canon Inc. retreated 2.1% after the camera maker reported a 1% drop in July-September net profit, weighed by the migration to smartphones for consumers' photography needs. Wireless telecom NTT DoCoMo Inc. fell 1.2% as a Nikkei news report said its operating profit was set to fall below that of rivals Softbank Corp. and KDDI Corp. , with DoCoMo "slipping to third place for the first time since listing as it pushes discounts." Shares of KDDI rose 0.2%, while those of Softbank fell 0.8%. Another Nikkei report tipping a more-than-20% drop for truck maker Hino Motors Ltd.'s April-September operating profit sent that stock down 1.7%, while Honda Motor Co. edged 0.1% lower ahead of its earnings report due after the market close. On the upside, Fuji Electric Co. gained 0.9% as yet another Nikkei report projected the company's six-month operating profit to have doubled from a year earlier. Shares of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. rose 1.8% as a U.S. judge slashed the damages in a product-liability case against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. down to just about $38 million from an original amount of $9 billion. Retailers were mostly higher, as data out just ahead of the open showed September retail sales grew 2.3% from a year earlier, far above a Reuters forecast for a 0.6% gain. Stock in J. Front Retailing Co. rose 0.2%, Takashimaya Co. added 0.5%, Isetan Mitsukoshi traded 0.9% higher, and FamilyMart Co. climbed 1.1%, though heavyweight Fast Retailing Co. bucked the trend to fall 0.6%.

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