The stock market in Tokyo declined for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, mirroring the losses on Wall Street, where the major indices ended lower on disappointing retail sales report for March and a weaker-than-expected producer price index.
The Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 1.1% month-over-month in March following an upwardly revised 0.3% increase in February. In another report, the Labor Department said that its producer price index fell 1.2% in March compared to economist estimates of a flat reading. Core producer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, were unchanged compared to the previous month.
The Dow closed down 137.63 points or 1.7% at 7,920, the Nasdaq closed down 27.59 points or 1.7% at 1,626 and the S&P 500 closed down 17.23 points or 2.0% at 842.
After the markets closed on Wall Street, Intel Corp. reported a 55% drop in profit for the first quarter of 2009 on lower revenues and deteriorating margins. However, the earnings beat analysts' expectations.
In Asian trading, crude oil ended $0.01 down at $49.40 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery dropped $0.64 to $49.41 a barrel on Tuesday amid choppy trading.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index declined 1.13% or 99.72 points to 8,743 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues lost 8.17 points or 0.97% to 835.
Exporters declined after the local currency strengthened against the U.S dollar to less than 99 yen per US dollar. Canon dropped 2.57%, Sony lost 4.31% and Sharp fell 2.99%.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank, declined 2.98%, Mizuho Financial fell 2.04%, Sumitomo Mitsui lost 2.45% and Resona Holdings edged down 1.64%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings lost 7.73% on profit taking.
Among exporters, Construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu Ltd. said Tuesday that it would close down two domestic factories and a facility operated by a subsidiary to deal with the ongoing tepid demand. The company's stock fell 5.62%. Among automakers, Toyota ended unchanged from previous close, while Honda Motor slipped 0.73%.
In the oil sector, Inpex eased 0.55%, Nippon Oil lost 1.52% and Showa Shell fell 1.21%. Among trading houses, Mitsubishi Corp. ended down 0.66% and Itochu slipped 0.53%, but Sumitomo Corp. gained 0.64%.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org