Nikkei sets longest losing streak in 50 yrs

Tokyo, Japan (Reuters) - The Nikkei average fell 1.3 percent on Wednesday to hit its longest losing streak in more than 40 years, as worries about the global economy hit exporters such as Canon Inc (7751.T).

JAPANESE share prices fell for an 11th straight session today, the longest losing streak in half a century, as investors fretted about losses on Wall Street and the soaring cost of oil.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index dropped 20.97 points or 0.16 per cent to end at 13,265.40.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 3.13 points or 0.24 per cent to 1298.02.

The last time the benchmark fell for 11 straight sessions was in April 1954.

Shipping firms extended losses after freight charges on the Baltic Dry Index dropped over 2 percent and on worries that high oil prices would hurt demand from emerging markets.

The benchmark Nikkei logged its 10th straight negative day, a period in which it has slid about 8 percent, its longest losing streak since February-March 1965.

“The worst factor for the market is oil prices that don’t stop rising. Investors are in a complete wait-and-see stance,” said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments.

“Rather than directly damaging the Japanese economy, high oil prices hurt emerging economies and that will hit Japanese exports. The global economy will also obviously move downward,” he said.

The Nikkei lost 176.83 points to end at 13,286.37, the lowest close since April 16.

The broader Topix shed 1.4 percent to 1,301.15, its lowest finish since April 17.

Oil rose more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday, within sight of Monday’s record high above $143 on forecasts that global supply will lag demand.

Tokyo Stock Exchange President Atsushi Saito told the Reuters Japan Investment Summit in Tokyo on Wednesday that he finds the current market situation “terrifying.”

“We are at a major crossroads where developed countries have to depend on funds of countries that explore and sell natural resources. It raises a question,” Saito said. “I don’t know the solution to this, but the market will likely be lost for a while.”

Daiwa SB’s Ogawa said he is not too concerned about the Nikkei’s losing streak as it has fallen little by little and the overall performance is still not bad, and money is waiting once the market bottoms out.

“But it’s hard for investors to return to stocks when the market falls slowly, rather than on a sell-off that marks a selling climax,” he said.


Exporters lost ground as the dollar slipped below 106 yen, as a stronger yen shrinks their overseas profits when they are brought back home.

Canon shed 2.6 percent to 5,200 yen, the biggest drag on the Nikkei 225, while Kyocera Corp (6971.T) fell 1.3 percent to 9,840 yen.

Shares of automakers fell after data showing a big drop in overall U.S. auto sales in June and on the firmer yen against the dollar.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), whose U.S. sales slid 11.5 percent last month, fell 1.4 percent to 4,940 yen. Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), whose U.S. sales shrank 7.5 percent, slipped 2 percent to 850 yen.

Honda Motor Co (7267.T) sagged 1.1 percent to 3,600 yen despite a 13.8 percent jump in U.S. sales last month.

Nippon Yusen KK (9101.T), Japan’s largest shipping firm, dropped 4.6 percent to 981 yen and Kawasaki Kisen (9107.T) slid 3.2 percent to 970 yen. Mitsui OSK Lines (9104.T) lost 3.8 percent to 1,437 yen.

Kirin Holdings Co (2503.T) skidded 3.4 percent to 1,585 yen after the Nikkei business daily said the brewer would likely report a 28 percent rise in its January-June profit, missing its forecast of a 38 percent jump, due to weaker-than-expected growth at its soft drink unit.

Trade picked up on the Tokyo exchange’s first section, with 2.01 billion shares changing hands compared with last week’s daily average of 1.84 billion.

Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones by a ratio of nearly 8 to 1.

(Reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Editing by Michael Watson)

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