Tokyo stocks fall 4% on yen, energy stocks down

Tokyo stocks fall 4% on yen, energy stocks down


Tokyo: Tokyo stocks dropped more than 4% on Friday, 17 August, as sharp gains in the yen triggered concern about profit prospects, pushing down exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp.

A dive in commodity prices hit nonferrous metals stocks, trading firms and other energy-related stocks, pulling the broader TOPIX index down to its lowest in nearly 13 months.

“Many manufacturers now make products outside Japan, but nonetheless a move in exchange rates does affect profit numbers and we have to watch out," said Hideyuki Suzuki, an investment information manager at SBI Securities.

The yen was being whipped around by speculators and investors grappling with massive market moves the previous day. By early afternoon it was around 112.20 yen, much higher than Toyota’s 115 yen to the dollar assumption for the current business year to March 2008.

The benchmark Nikkei was down 631.73 points at 15,516.76 as of 0445 GMT.

The broader TOPIX lost 63.43 points to 1,503.83.