With the dollar buying ¥102.11, compared to ¥102.31 at this time last Friday, the blue-chip exporters are mostly softer, with Sony down 1.4%, Nissan Motor down 1.5%, Renesas down 3.5%, and Panasonic off 1.5% ahead of its earnings expected later in the day.
Shares of recently listed Japan Display are dropping 11.8% as the maker of phone and tablet screens cut its operating-profit guidance.
Likewise, Honda Motor is suffering a 5% pullback. While its January-March profit more than doubled, much of this was thanks to a weak yen and front-loaded buying ahead of the April sales-tax hike, and the market appears more concerned by its fiscal-year profit-growth forecast of 3.6%.
We also have Suzuki Motors down 4.1% after India’s Maruti Suzuki reported weaker than expected net income.
It’s also worth nothing that Japanese retailers have failed to get a bump from the best retail-sales result since 1997 (see earlier post on this blog), as the sharp 11% gain for March was widely tipped and came mainly as consumers rushed to buy expensive items ahead of the April 1 sales-tax hike. Currently, it’s Fast Retailing 1.6%, Aeon down 1.3%, J. Front Retailing down 2.6%, and Takashimaya down 1.7%
Nonethless, the weakness in Tokyo isn’t raining on everyone. Mazda Motor is up 0.7% following its earnings, while robot maker Fanuc is up 1.7% on a bullish forecast, even as its fiscal-year profit slipped about 8% from a year earlier. Komatsu had the opposite situation from Fanuc, posting a strong profit gain but forecasting a drop for the current fiscal year, and its stock is trading 2.1% higher.
Another big winner is NTT Docomo, adding 4.1% to its price on the back of improved earnings expectations and a fresh stock-buyback program.
In any case, it’s worth noting that trading volumes are reportedly light today and will likely stay so until mid-May, as Japan enjoys its Golden Week holiday season. The markets are closed tomorrow for Showa Day, and then shut for two days next week, but some Japanese take the entire two-week period off for vacation.