Japan Stocks Zigzag In Early Trade; Fujifilm Up On Ebola News

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks turned south in the early minutes of Wednesday trade only to rebound to the flat line, as the yen zigzagged off the latest tankan business-sentiment survey. Ahead of the open, Nikkei Average futures had pointed to a gain of between 0.3% and 0.4%, but a stronger-than-expected bounce in large manufacturers' sentiment sent the yen higher, with the dollar easing to �109.62 from �109.72. The forex moves sent the stock benchmark from a flat open to trade 0.4% lower about a half hour into the session, only to shed those loses within a 10-minute period as the yen gave back some of its gains. The broader Topix was down 0.2%, however. Currency-sensitive techs and auto makers were among the decliners, with TDK Corp. down 1.5%, Toshiba Corp. down 0.8%, Renesas Electronics Corp. falling 2.9%, Nissan Motor Co. losing 1.4%, and Honda Motor Co. off 1.5%. Stock in Nikon Corp. lost 0.8% as the Nikkei business daily tipped a first-fiscal-half drop in operating profit of roughly 77%, which would still be better than a previously forecast 82% decline. Among the gainers, meanwhile, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. added 1.2% after news the U.S. had confirmed its first case of the Ebola virus -- the conglomerate has a flu treatment called Avigan which has been used experimentally to fight Ebola. Also, shares of Lawson Inc. improved by 2% after confirmation it plans to buy unlisted supermarket operator Seijo Ishii Co. from an investment fund.

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