The Japanese stock market ended Tuesday's session in negative territory, dragged down by realty stocks after one of the major property companies Sumitomo Realty & Development reported lower than expected profit due to writedowns. Financial stocks also ended mixed despite better-than-expected first quarter results from Goldman Sachs and its announcement to raise $5 billion, as the company intends to repay all of the TARP funding it received from the U.S. government. The major U.S. indices closed mixed as investors preferred to take profits amid some uncertainty about the impending earnings season.
The Dow closed down 25.57 points or 0.3% at 8,058, while the Nasdaq closed up 0.77 points or 0.1% at 1,653 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.17 points or 0.3% at 859.
In Asian trading, crude oil was down $0.26 at $49.79 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery dropped $2.19 to $50.05 a barrel on Monday after the International Energy Agency lowered its projection of global demand for this year. Demand worries also heated up amid concern over upcoming earnings reports.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended at 8,843, down 81.75 points, or 0.9%, and the broader Topix index of all First Section Issues slipped 5.55 points, or 0.7%, to 843.
Property related stocks ended weaker after Sumitomo Realty & Development reported lower-than-expected earnings, primarily due to increased writedowns. The stock declined 5.60%. Among the other property related stocks, Mitsubishi Estate lost 2.16%, Mitsui Fudosan lost 2.50% and Tokyu Land Corp fell 3.99%.
Exporters ended mixed. While Canon lost 2.51%, Sony remained unchanged, and Sharp advanced 1.85%. Trading houses ended weaker on profit taking. Sumitomo Corp. fell 2.50% and Itochu slipped 0.70%. However, Mitsubishi Corp remained unchanged at close.
Automakers ended weak following the news that the US Treasury Department is directing General Motors (GM) to prepare for a bankruptcy filing by a June 1st deadline. Honda Motor fell 3.00%, Isuzu Motors slipped 0.71% and Toyota Motor lost 3.55%.
Financial stocks ended mixed. While Mitsubishi UFJ gained 1.13% and Sumitomo Mitsui edged up 0.66%, Mizuho Financial remained unchanged, and Resona Holdings fell 1.03%.
Oil stocks showed mixed sentiment. While Inpex edged up 0.28% and Nippon Oil advanced 2.33%, Showa Shell edged down 0.44%.
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