Japanese share indices ended Tuesday morning flat, as gains
among retailers were offset by losses in technology stocks and banking. The
Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 per cent to 14,699.49 by midday.
The bank-heavy Topix fell 0.2 per cent to 1,524.34. The electrical machinery
sector, which contains most of the biggest technology stocks, lost some of the
previous day’s gains, falling 0.6 per cent. Toshiba plunged 6.9 per cent to
Y626, after Intel and Micron said they would form a joint venture to make flash
memory chips – jeopardizing Toshiba’s competitive advantage. Some domestic
sectors also fell on Tuesday, including some of this year’s star performers.
Banking stocks were down 0.9 per cent. Mitsubishi UFJ, the world’s biggest bank
by assets, declined 1.9 per cent to Y1,530,000. Insurers fell 1.4 per cent. The
retail sector was pushed up 0.4 per cent by a positive report by Merrill Lynch
on department stores.
The Japanese Government Bond 20-year auction today was a success with surprisingly good demand for the long bond. JGB futures were a bit lower before the auction but bounced after the results came through. Lead JGB futures were up slightly on the day to 138. The 10-year cash bond was flat at 1.475.