Japanese stocks crept lower in early Friday action, extending losses from the previous day with investors apparently cautious as negotiations between Greece and the European Union dragged on. The Nikkei Average sat 0.2% lower about 15 minutes into trade, with the Topix down 0.5% after mild overnight losses on Wall Street. Helping drag on the market were a number of blue chips trading without rights to their latest dividends, including Canon Inc. (down 2.3%), Bridgestone Corp. (down 1.1%), Honda Motor Co. (down 1.3%) and Kirin Holdings Co. (down 2%). However, the retail sector proved a bright spot, particularly for J. Front Retailing Co. , which rallied 5% after reporting its earnings-per-share more than tripled during the January-March quarter. The J. Front results helped lift the broader sector, as did data out just ahead of the open showing May household spending up almost 5% from a year earlier. Among the majors, Fast Retailing Co. rose 1.2%, Aeon Co. added 0.5%, Takashimaya Co. gained 0.4% and Isetan Mitsukoshi climbed 2.4%. The energy and airline shares went in opposite directions as oil futures sunk in U.S. and London trade. Shares of Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. fell 1.3%, Inpex Corp. lost 1.6%, but Japan Airlines Co. jumped by 2% and ANA Holdings Inc. inched 0.1% higher amid the prospect of lower fuel prices. Stock in Takata Corp. traded 0.3% lower, swinging from a mildly positive open, after the company's chief executive publicly apologized for the faulty airbags that have prompted massive recalls worldwide but didn't commit to setting up a compensation fund for victims.
Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.
Continue Reading Below