Tokyo stocks close down 1.05pc

August 06, 2014 - 10:31:57 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 1.05 percent Wednesday after a sharp sell-off on Wall Street, with SoftBank shares dropping on a report that its US unit Sprint was abandoning plans to buy T-

Mobile.

The Nikkei 225 index, declining for the fifth session, gave up another 160.52 points to close at 15,159.79, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.97 percent, or

12.24 points, to 1,251.29.

US stocks fell sharply Tuesday in a sell-off analysts attributed to fears that Wall Street was in line for a correction and worries that the conflict in Ukraine could worsen.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.84 percent, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.97 percent.

A stronger yen also helped push down the Nikkei, despite upbeat Japanese corporate earnings with Japan's top automakers booking fatter profits in their latest quarter.

Some feared that an April sales tax hike in Japan would take a bite out of firms' bottom lines.

"April-June was feared to be the troubling quarter due to the (April 1) consumption tax hike, but analysts' timid forecasts got grannied by the results," said CLSA equity

strategist Nicholas Smith.

In currency markets, the dollar was at 102.57 yen Wednesday afternoon, from 102.62 yen in New York late Tuesday. A stronger yen hurts the profitability of Japanese exporters and

tends to weigh on their shares.

SoftBank fell 3.50 percent to 6,972.0 yen after the Wall Street Journal reported the Japanese mobile carrier's US unit Sprint was ending its pursuit of US carrier T-Mobile.

SoftBank decided it would be too difficult to win approval from regulators for the deal, the paper quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.

The report came just days after French upstart telecom operator Iliad announced it would bid for a controlling stake in T-Mobile, offering an alternative to the potential tie-up

with rival Sprint.

Skymark dropped 5.23 percent to 181.0 yen after local media said the airline was considering withdrawing from operations at Narita airport, a key gateway to Tokyo.

The stock has been pounded recently after Airbus cancelled a $2.2 billion jet order from Skymark, reportedly over concerns about getting paid.

Toyota slipped 0.87 percent to 5,989.0 yen, despite reporting a record $5.7 billion in net profit for the April-June quarter on Tuesday. (AFP)

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