Tokyo: Japanese stocks slipped on Monday, 3 September, as investors, who remained wary of credit woes, sold following Friday’s rises, while an unexpected drop in capital spending data put a lid on the overall market.
Shares in Nippon Steel Corp., the world’s second-biggest steelmaker, rose after the Nikkei business daily reported it is likely to raise dividends for the fourth straight year, helping other steel shares also advancing.
Government data showed on Monday that Japanese firms cut capital spending by 4.9% in April-June from a year earlier, in sharp contrast with a median forecast by economists for an 11.5% rise.
“The data was disappointing,” said Yasuo Yabe, director, sales, at Meiwa Securities. “We would have liked to get a confirmation that the Japanese economy is okay,” he said.
The Nikkei shed 0.55%, or 91.26 points, to 16,477.83 as of 0432 GMT, while the broader TOPIX index fell 0.43% to 1,601.33.
Masayoshi Yano, senior manager of investment information at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co Ltd, said the market remained in a tight range ahead of U.S. payrolls data and other key economic data this week.
“After these indicators, the reality of interest rate cuts will become clear. Until then, investors are likely to remain on the sidelines,” Yano said.
Shares of bank, insurance and brokerage firms fell as investors were quick to lock in profits after Friday’s rises. Active trade was also seen in these shares due to their high liquidity, Yabe of Meiwa Securities said.
Mizuho Financial Group lost 1 percent to 726,000 yen after rising 2.7 percent on Friday.
Earnings prospects lifted shipping and steel stocks.
Nippon Steel added 1.1 percent to 821 yen after the Nikkei daily said it will likely pay an annual dividend of 11 yen per share, up 1 yen from a year earlier.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd rose 1.8 percent to 1,523 yen and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd added 1.5 percent to 1,732 yen. The shipping sector has proved to be resilient due to expectations for strong earnings. While the TOPIX has bounced up 8 percent since it hit this year’s low on Aug. 17, the shipping subindex ISHIP.has recovered 17 percent.
A notable stock was cosmetics maker Shiseido Co which was up 2.7 percent at 2,480 yen after the cosmetics maker said on Friday it would buy back up to 25 billion yen worth of its own shares. (Additional reporting by Equities Desk) REUTERS