Japanese shares down 1% by lunch

Japanese shares down 1% by lunch


Tokyo: Japanese share prices fell 1% in morning trade Tuesday, 16 October, hit by losses on Wall Street and renewed concerns about the fallout from problems in the US mortgage sector, dealers said.

They said financial shares led the way lower after Japan’s largest brokerage firm, Nomura Holdings, reported large losses on mortgage-backed securities due to the subprime loan crisis.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares dropped 175.79 points to 17,182.36 by the lunch break.

The Topix index of all first-section shares dipped 22.33 points or 1.35% to 1,635.11.

Declining shares far outnumbered gainers 1,329 to 292 with 89 issues unchanged. Volume rose to an estimated 889 million shares from 767 million Monday morning.

On Monday, Wall Street fell as major US banks said they were creating a special fund to ease the global liquidity squeeze.

It was a new sign of fallout from defaults on housing loans that were given to “subprime" US customers who had patchy credit histories.

Nomura Holdings shares were closely watched after it announced Monday its exit from the US market for mortgage-backed securities after suffering large losses because of the subprime loan crisis.

Nomura ended the morning session down 25 yen or 1.2% at 2,055. It fell as low as 1,998 yen shortly after the opening bell.

Elsewhere in the financial sector, shares of Japan’s second-largest brokerage house, Daiwa Securities Group, lost 34 yen or 2.8% to 1,180. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 55 yen or 4.9% to 1,072 and Mizuho Financial Group lost 27,000 yen or 4.1% to 638,000.