May 15, 2014 12:20 pm JST

Tokyo stocks fall in morning on stronger yen, Wall St. losses

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell Thursday morning as overnight declines in U.S. shares and the dollar's fall into the 101 yen range hurt investor sentiment.

     The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 126.07 points, or 0.88 percent, from Wednesday to 14,279.69. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 9.95 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,173.20.
A broad range of shares came under selling pressure after the 30-issue Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Wednesday for the first time in six trading days.

     Export-oriented high-tech and automaker issues were among the morning's major decliners as the yen's appreciation against the U.S. dollar and the euro shunned investor optimism about exporters' earnings outlook.

     A stronger yen eats into Japanese exporters' overseas earnings when repatriated.

     "U.S. shares fell and the yen rose. We had two negative factors for Japanese stocks and the market reacted to them in a straightforward manner," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

     The market showed muted reaction to better-than-expected Japanese gross domestic product data for the January to March quarter, as investors were more concerned about the economic condition after Japan's sales tax hike in April than the January-March period when consumption surged due to a rush in demand before the tax hike, Miura said.

     On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 1,240 to 423, while 142 finished the morning unchanged.
Sony tumbled 126 yen, or 7 percent, to 1,679 yen after projecting to stay in the red this business year with a group net loss of 50 billion yen.
Among other export-oriented issues, Panasonic dropped 17 yen, or 1.6 percent, to 1,078 yen while Toshiba shed 5 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 398 yen.

     Major automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan lost ground.

     Consumer credit firm Credit Saison took a beating, plunging 325 yen, or 14.3 percent, to 1,941 yen after it reported a 22 percent decline in its group net profit for fiscal 2013 and projected another profit fall for this business year.

     Other major decliners included brokerage, insurance and retail issues.