Nikkei falls 0.1 pct, global economy jitters weigh

TOKYO - The Nikkei average dipped 0.1 percent on Wednesday, with Toyota Motor and other exporters sliding on a bleak outlook for the global economy, while bank shares fell on worries about the US financial system.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 20 Aug 2008, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:55 AM

But a surge in Chinese stocks on hopes for a government stimulus package sparked buying of stocks linked to demand from emerging economies such as trading house Mitsubishi Corp briefly helping the Nikkei into positive territory.

‘The short covering that we saw earlier doesn't mean we will be seeing a large rebound in the market,’ said Zenshiro Mizuno, senior managing director of the equity trading division at Marusan Securities.

‘Financial worries haven't been solved and they continue to exist.’

The benchmark Nikkei shed 13.36 points to end at 12,851.69, the lowest close since July 18.

The broader Topix edged down 0.2 percent to 1,233.37.

Worries about the overall global economy weighed on exporters and especially automakers, which are suffering from falling demand in the European and US markets, said Soichiro Monji, strategist at Daiwa SB Investments.

Toyota shed 1.8 percent to 4,830 yen and Canon Inc lost 2 percent to 5,040 yen, the top drag on the Nikkei 225.

Most banks shares were weak after US stocks fell for a second straight session on Tuesday on fears that US home finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need a government bailout.

Top lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 1.5 percent to 817 yen, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group the third-biggest bank, slid 1 percent to 675,000 yen.

But No.2 Mizuho Financial Group added 0.2 percent to 468,000 yen.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and other shippers also weighed on the market after the Baltic Exchange's chief sea freight index fell 1 percent on Tuesday, its first decline in five days.

Mitsui declined 2.5 percent to 1,262 yen, while Nippon Yusen KK shed 2.7 percent to 852 yen. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha slipped 1.5 percent to 774 yen.

China's main stock index jumped nearly 6 percent on Wednesday on hopes that the government would introduce a stimulus package to boost the slowing economy and aid the stock and property markets.

Mitsubishi Corp climbed 2.9 percent to 2,890 yen and Sumitomo Corp advanced 2.5 percent to 1,278 yen, also helped as oil prices edged up to above $115 a barrel.

Investors also picked up property shares after a recent sell-off, with Sumitomo Realty & Development Co gaining 3 percent to 2,250 yen.

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