Nikkei dips after Moody's downgrade; GS Yuasa tumbles

lunes 1 de diciembre de 2014 21:50 GYT

* Moody's cut gives opposition party a chance to attack
Abe's policy - analyst
    * Weak yen supports sentiment
    * GS Yuasa dives after U.S. officials said its battery had
design flaws

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
slipped on Tuesday as investors took profits from the recent
gains after Moody's Investors Service cut the country's
sovereign debt rating, but losses were limited as the weak yen
supported sentiment.
    The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent to 17,550.78 points
by mid-morning, pulling away from a seven-year high of 17,649.02
hit on the previous day.
    Index heavyweight stocks such as SoftBank Corp,
Fast Retaling Co and Fanuc Corp lost ground,
falling between 0.6-1.8 percent.
    GS Yuasa Corp tumbled 3.2 percent in heavy volume
after the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said that
the company's lithium-ion battery that caught fire aboard a 
Boeing 787 in 2013 had design flaws. 
    Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded Japan's
sovereign debt rating by one notch to A1, citing rising
uncertainty over the country's ability to hit its debt-reduction
    Traders said that the downgrade itself has limited negative
impact to the overall market in the short-term as the weak yen
should support Japanese shares, but the timing of the downgrade
may serve as a headwind to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the
    "The downgrade came as the election campaign officially
started, so the timing was bad," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of
global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas.
    "It gave the opposition parties a chance to attack his
policies, attack Abe that Abenomics isn't working."
    He said that for the next two weeks until the election, the
market may be swayed by headlines related to the election, but 
the market should be supported as long as the yen stays weak.
    The dollar traded at 118.33 yen, having hit a
seven-year peak of 119.15 yen after Moody's cut Japan's
sovereign ratings.
    Exporters bucked the weakness, with Toyota Motor Corp
 gaining 0.6 percent and Honda Motor Co rising
0.9 percent. 
    The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,420, and the
new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.1 percent to

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)