CORRECTED-Nikkei falls 2.3 pct as yen strengthens on Swiss rate cap move

viernes 16 de enero de 2015 02:52 GYT

(Corrects level of Topix index in last paragraph)
    * Fast Retailing, SoftBank together take hefty points off
from Nikkei
    * Ibiden, Shinko Electric fall on Intel's
weaker-than-expected forecast

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell
2.3 percent on Friday morning after U.S. stocks dropped for a
fifth day and the yen rose after Switzerland abandoned its cap
on the franc, hurting Japanese  exporters such as electronics
and car manufacturers. 
    By mid-morning trade, the Nikkei was at 16,711.26,
nearing a one-month low of 16,672.94 hit on Dec. 17.
    For the week, the benchmark has fallen 2.8 percent.
    Index-heavy shares tumbled, with SoftBank Corp and
Fast Retailing Co falling 3.3 percent and 3.2 percent,
respectively. The two companies together took a hefty 87 points
off the index, roughly a quarter of the index's losses in
mid-morning trade.
    The Swiss National Bank scrapped its cap on the franc in a
surprise move, pushing the Swiss currency up sharply, depressing
the euro and stoking demand for the safe-haven yen.
    Traders assumed the Swiss had moved with the knowledge that
the European Central Bank would launch large-scale quantitative
easing at its policy meeting on Jan. 22. 
    "Investors will likely stay cautious against overseas
developments for 2-3 weeks given weak oil prices and commodity
price as well as the global economic concern," said Chisato
Haganuma, chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
Securities. "When Japanese companies start releasing their
(third quarter) earnings at the end of the month, stocks will
likely reflect their strong results."
    The dollar hit a fresh one-month low of 115.90 yen,
after regaining ground at 116.26 in Asian trade.
    Sony Corp dropped 4.4 percent, Advantest Corp
 fell 2.8 percent and Nissan Motor Co shed 1.9
    Companies with significant exposure to the computer industry
were also under pressure after chipmaker Intel Corp's 
revenue and gross margin forecasts for this quarter were worse
than expected. 
    Ibiden Co shed 2.2 percent and Shinko Electric
Industries Co dived 5.5 percent.
    The broader Topix dropped 2.0 percent to 1,349.47
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 1.6 percent to

 (Editing by Eric Meijer)