Tokyo Stocks Fall on Yen Worries Thu Oct 30, 2:30 AM ET Add Business - Reuters to My Yahoo!
TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo share prices fell on Thursday after a four-day winning streak as investors sold tech shares such as Hitachi on renewed concern about the strength of the yen and ahead of congressional testimony by U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow.
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"Looking at earnings results from Honda, you can tell a strong yen does have an impact on them, especially when the yen strengthens to the 107 yen level. It's not easy to push tech and exporter shares higher," said Terushi Hirotama, head of trading at Ichiyoshi Securities.
Honda Motor Co Ltd bucked the gloom surrounding the dollar's fall to fresh three-year lows against the yen, closing up 2.33 percent at 4,390 yen on Thursday. Still, the stock is down 1.8 percent since the beginning of October, underperforming the Nikkei's four percent gains over the same period. The company on Tuesday posted a surprise dip in quarterly operating profit due to a strong yen.
The Nikkei average ended down 0.41 percent at 10,695.56, falling for the first time in five sessions. The broad-based TOPIX index was down 0.31 percent at 1,053.85.
Hitachi fell 5.07 percent to 655 yen on profit-taking, after posting a 7.64 percent gain on Wednesday when it reported strong quarterly operating profit and doubled full-year pretax profit estimates.
Investors also tried to close their positions ahead of the month end, and locked in profits on Sharp Corp, which fell 2.63 percent to 1,742 yen, and Sanyo Electric Co, which dropped 2.52 percent to 503 yen.
TDK Corp, the world's largest maker of magneto-resistive HDD heads, rose 1.63 percent to 7,480 yen. It posted a fourfold jump in quarterly profit on Wednesday and raised its outlook for the full year.
Morgan Stanley also provided a boost, raising its rating on TDK to "overweight" from "equal-weight."
NEC Corp eased 1.21 percent to 982 yen after earlier climbing to 1,000 yen, its highest since May 2002, before being dragged down by the strong yen.
Telecoms shares were mixed.
NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan's largest mobile operator, was down 1.66 percent at 237,000 yen, extending losses from Wednesday. After the market closed, the company said its half-year group operating profit fell 7.8 percent to 590.1 billion yen from a year ago, marking its first drop since the company listed on the stock market in 1998.
KDDI Corp ended up 0.96 percent at 628,000 yen ahead of its earnings results, due 0730 GMT. Strong results are expected, due to the brisk growth of the number two telecom carrier's high-speed third-generation (3G) service.
Trade volume were almost unchanged with 1.214 billion shares changing hands on the first section, compared with 1.230 billion shares on Wednesday.
Advancers slightly outpaced decliners, 704 to 670.