Tokyo: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei ended down 1.3% on Thursday at its lowest close in more than a week, as worries about the US and Japanese economies grew, with sagging machinery orders hitting industrial robot maker Fanuc Ltd and other machinery makers.
Property firms such as Mitsubishi Estate extended losses, with exporters such as Toyota Motor Co sliding as the yen advanced against the dollar.
US stocks fell on Wednesday after United Parcel Service Inc ., seen as a bellwether of US economic activity, slashed its earnings forecast, further stoking fears about the economy there and casting a shadow over Japanese earnings as well.
Rising materials prices, as exemplified by Nippon Steel Corp’s announcement on Wednesday it would pay BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) triple what it paid the world’s top coking coal producer last year, and a strong yen may hit Japanese balance sheets hard, market players said.
“Everyone said that poor results and poor forecasts were factored in when the market hit its year low last month, but this sort of price rise hadn’t even been thought of then,” said Masayoshi Okamoto, head of dealing at Jujiya Securities.
“This is likely to affect a lot of shares, and worries about this have been causing the market to weaken the last few days.”
The Nikkei shed 166.59 points to end at 12,945.30, its lowest close since 1 April. The broader Topix was down 1.2% at 1,248.07.