Japanese stocks slip on Greece, Fed anxiety; Toyota in focus

lunes 15 de junio de 2015 21:54 GYT

* Greece default fears hit sentiment
    * Investors take profits in recent gainers such as banks
    * Toyota AGM big market focus on controversial class share

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks slipped on
Tuesday as Greece teetered on the brink of a default, while
investors kept a wary watch for clues on the timing of U.S. rate
increases as the Federal Reserve begins its two-day
policy-setting meeting later in the day.
     The focus locally was on Toyota Motor's annual shareholder
meeting, where some foreign investors are opposing the
carmaker's controversial plan to issue hybrid shares.
    The Nikkei share average fell 0.7 percent to 20,248.45
 while the broader Topix dropped 0.5 percent to
1,642.93, having lost steam after hitting an eight-year high at
the beginning of this month.
    "The Japanese economic recovery is gaining momentum so the
market could have gone up but a correction in overseas equity
markets is weighing," said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at
Rakuten Securities.
    Global share prices were pressured on concerns over Greece
and the Fed's policy outlook. 
    Greece and its creditors hardened their stances on Monday
after the collapse of talks, prompting Germany's EU commissioner
to say the time had come to prepare for a "state of emergency".
    Investors sold recent gainers such as financial shares to
take profits, with SMFG falling 2.2 percent and Mizuho
Financial 1.6 percent. Nomura Holdings fell
1.4 percent.
    Given the uncertain global backdrop, domestic
demand-oriented small cap shares were preferred over large
companies with global exposures.
    Topix core of 30 big companies fell 0.8 percent 
while the Topix Small dipped just 0.3 percent.
    With hopes of corporate governance reforms fueling a rally
in Tokyo equities in recent months, many investors will be
closely scrutinising annual general meetings of local firms in
the next two weeks. 
    Toyota's meeting is attracting particular attention because
of its controversial plan to issue hybrid shares aimed at
long-term holding by retail investors. 
    Some foreign investors believe the plan will undermine the
power of ordinary shareholders. 
    "I'm optimistic overall but frustrated by the emergence of
this issue," said Nicholas Smith, Japan strategist at CLSA.
    Some other investors took a more sanguine view.
    "I don't really see the instrument undermining corporate
governance. Markets should enable companies to broaden their
financing options - it's a two way street," said Hannah
Cunliffe, senior portfolio manager at Union Investment, based in
    Toyota shares were down 0.8 percent in early trade.

 (Additional reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Shri