Tokyo stocks close down 2.10pc

April 09, 2014 - 9:18:36 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 2.10 percent Wednesday, with exporters hit by a stronger yen after the head of the Bank of Japan quashed hopes for a boost to its stimulus programme in the near future.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index sank 307.19 points to 14,299.69, while the Topix index of all first-section shares lost 2.05 percent, or 24.12 points, to 1,150.44.

Among the biggest losers was Toyota Motor, which tumbled after announcing the recall of 6.39 million vehicles worldwide over various problems.

The yen gathered momentum after Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday that Japan's economy was getting back on track and a sales tax that kicked in on April 1 would not hurt a nascent recovery, despite warnings to the contrary.

Kuroda, who also stuck to an ambitious inflation target despite growing doubts among analysts -- told a post-meeting news briefing he does not "think there is a need for additional easing measures".

Nader Naeimi at Sydney-based AMP Capital Investors told Dow Jones Newswires: "Kuroda disappointed the market.

"The BoJ is not so keen on pre-emptive action. It thinks the fact its balance sheet is growing at the fastest rate in the developed world is aggressive enough. And it is keen to fully assess the impact of the tax increase."

In forex trading, the dollar edged up to 102.03 yen from 101.75 yen in New York but it is still well down from 102.90 yen in Tokyo before Tuesday's BoJ announcement.

Toyota Motor shed 3.07 percent to 5,450 yen in response to the recall involving 26 Toyota models, as well as the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia.

Among the problems are a driver's seat defect, steering column problems, and an engine starter glitch that poses a fire risk, the company said.

Drugs firm Takeda Pharmaceutical lost another 1.09 percent to close at 4,522 yen, a day after it fell 5.16 percent on news that a US jury had ordered it to pay $6.0 billion in damages linked to health risks posed by its Actos diabetes medicine.

Sumitomo Realty and Development dived 3.77 percent to 4,029 yen, Canon fell 1.00 percent to 3,137 yen and Sony lost 3.36 percent to 1,895 yen.

Olympus fell 1.93 percent to 2,991 yen after it said six banks filed a lawsuit seeking compensation linked to a 2011 accounting scandal at the camera and medical equipment maker. (AFP)