Nikkei hits 1-week low on weak Wall Street; Sharp tumbles on S&P rating cut

martes 3 de marzo de 2015 22:14 GYT
 

* Investors cautious before U.S. jobs data on Fri - analysts
    * S&P cuts Sharp's rating to 'CCC+'
    * Sumco dives on fund-raising announcement

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
dropped to a one-week low on Wednesday morning after weak
performances in U.S. shares triggered profit-taking, while Sharp
Corp dived after Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating.
    The Nikkei dropped 1.0 percent to 18,630.97 in
midmorning trade after slipping as far as 18,586.84, the lowest
level since Feb. 25.
    A weak-yen trend has paused, weighing on sentiment. The
dollar backed off from Tuesday's high of 120.27 yen, falling 0.1
percent to 119.62 yen.
    Analysts said investors remain cautious as they look to U.S.
jobs and wage data on Friday for further clues on when the
Federal Reserve may raise interest rates.
    "Whether this selling is short-term profit-taking or can
lead to a solid correction depends on how the market perceives
the U.S. jobs data," said Isao Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay
Asset Management. "If wages are better than expected and trigger
worries about a sooner-than-later rate hike, there may be some
more selling in stocks."
    Sharp tumbled as low as 6.5 percent after S&P cut
its long-term ratings on the company to 'CCC+' following news
that it plans to ask its main lender banks for a debt-for-equity
swap. 
    Sumco Corp dived as much as 12 percent to a
1-1/2-week low after saying it will issue up to 60 billion yen
in common shares.
    Exporters were weaker, with Honda Motor Co dropping
1.0 percent and Toyota Motor Corp 0.8 percent.
    Bucking the weakness, NGK Insulators Ltd, world's
largest producer of insulators for power utilities, rose 3.0
percent to 2,401 yen, the highest since Jan. 30, after SMBC
Nikko Securities raised its rating to "outperform" from
"neutral", citing strong business opportunities in China.
    The broader Topix dropped 1.0 percent to 1,510.81,
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 1.0 percent to
13,723.12.

 (Editing by Richard Borsuk)