Tokyo: Japanese stocks fell for a third straight day on Wednesday, 5 December, with exporters such as Canon Inc hit by a firmer yen, while banks lost ground after their US peers were punished due to growing unease about fallout from the credit squeeze.
Naoki Koga, senior fund manager at Toyota Asset Management, said a fall in the US market and a stronger yen are making it hard for investors to move aggressively.
”After a robust sell-off, stocks now look cheap to investors but they can’t decide if now is the best time to buy,” he said.
”The market will probably move to cement the downside in December and January, but a lot still depends on where the subprime problems will go.”
As of 0043 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei average fell 0.3% or 49.97 points to 15,430.22 and the broader Topix index shed 0.4% or 6.65 points to 1,508.85.
The dollar edged up to 109.80 yen, still staying above a two-and-a-half-year low of 107.22 yen hit last week.
US investors dumped financial shares after JPMorgan Chase slashed its earnings outlook for four major Wall Street banks, in a sign of growing unease about the credit squeeze and fallout from the US housing slump and the impact on the wider economy.
Shares of exporters fell, with Canon down 1.2% at 5,670 yen and Sony Corp. shedding 0.8% to 5,790 yen.
Automakers Toyota Motor Corp. also lost 1.1% to 6,060 yen and Honda Motor Co Ltd fell 0.5% to 3,690 yen.
Bank shares struggled as Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 0.3% to 1,119 yen and No. 2 Mizuho Financial Group shed 1.7% to 593,000 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan’s third-biggest bank, lost 2.4% to 899,000 yen.