Nikkei falls to 1-month low as investors cut exposure before holidays

jueves 30 de abril de 2015 22:24 GYT
 

* Players reduce market exposure ahead of Japan's "Golden
Week"
    * Uncertainty on global economic outlook saps risk appetite
    * Bank shares fall on disappointment over BOJ
    * Murata, Japan Tobacco up

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, May 1 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks on Friday fell to
its lowest level in almost a month as traders reduced their
exposure ahead of Golden Week holidays in Japan and as
uncertainty around corporate earnings and global economic growth
sapped confidence. 
    The Nikkei share average shed 0.4 percent to
19,437.45, briefly falling to as low as 19,434.44, its weakest 
level since April 6.
    "Short-term players should be closing their positions ahead
of the holidays. But I do not think the market is in for a large
correction. Investors still look for upside in the medium- to
long-term," said Hiroshi Ono, head of equity investment at
Sumitomo Life.
    As Japanese markets will be shut through May 6 for public
holidays, many traders felt it is prudent to reduce market
exposure given stock markets have wobbled around the world in
the last couple of days.
    Disappointing earnings from Nokia and some U.S.
biotech and internet firms as well as soft U.S. growth figures
have unsettled share markets in the United States and Europe.
    The broader Topix index fell a larger 0.8 percent,
hit by declines in bank shares, which some market players say
likely reflects disappointment after the Bank of Japan refrained
from easing on Thursday.
    While most market players had expected no fresh stimulus, 
there had been some speculation of the BOJ making a surprise
easing move as it did in October last year.
    The Tokyo Stock Exchange's bank share subindex 
fell 1.5 percent, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 
down 2.2 percent.
    Among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 subindustry indexed, 31
were in negative territory, led by shippers, which
fell 2.3 percent.
    Investors also took profits on recent gainers, such as Sony
Corp, which fell 2.3 percent after it had forecast its
first net profit in three years in the current financial year. 
    It still remains the best performing stock so far this year
among the Topix core 30 index of Japan's largest
companies by market cap.
    Bucking the trend, Murata Manufacturing rose 1.2
percent after the electronic parts maker had forecast record
profits in the current financial year and a plan to boost
dividend.
    Japan Tobacco rose 3.5 percent after announcing a
plan to buy a U.S. e-cigarette company. 
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.6 percent to
14,329.31.
    The market showed muted response to a series of Japanese
economic data published on Friday, including a fall in the
jobless rate and tepid consumer inflation. 

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)