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.