Nikkei falls as weak euro drags down exporters

Tue Nov 6, 2012 2:59am GMT

* Dainippon Screen plunges on outlook cut
    * Carmakers fall on weak euro
    * Resource stocks up on rising crude prices

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Tuesday as the weakening euro took a toll on exporters, but
losses were limited by  investors steering clear of big
positions ahead of the U.S. election outcome.
    The euro languished at eight-week lows versus the greenback
on Tuesday, having fallen broadly as Greece's parliament readies
 to vote on a new austerity package.  The
currency was at $1.2790, having fallen as far as $1.2767
 following a break of the Oct. 1 trough around $1.2804.
  By the midday break , the Nikkei was down 0.5 percent
at 8,966.13, while the broader Topix was also 0.5
percent lower at 743.89.
    "The yen is still weak as the dollar is trading above 80
yen, but investors are selling exporters which are sensitive to
the euro, so there might be a short-term impact to the overall
market," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at SMBC Nikko
Securities.
    The euro's weakness dragged down carmakers, with Honda Motor
Corp shedding 1.6 percent to 2,457 yen, Nissan Motor
Corp falling 2.2 percent to 676 yen and Mazda Motor
Corp dropping 0.9 percent to 105 yen.
    Analysts said the market was in a wait-and-see mode ahead of
a tight U.S. presidential race, although President Barack Obama
has a slight lead in eight or nine battleground states.
 
    They added that once the outcome of the election is priced
in, investors may start taking risks as long as the yen stays at
the current levels.
    "Investors' eyes will likely continue being glued on the
dollar-yen moves, but it's not because corporate earnings are
really influenced by tiny currency moves, but the currency moves
determine investors' risk appetite," said Yoshito Sakakibara,
vice president and economist at JPMorgan Asset Management. "When
investors want to take risks, they sell the yen and buy Japanese
stocks, and that trend was seen until investors stayed on the
sidelines before the election."
    The yen was quoted at 80.20 to the dollar on Tuesday, not
too far from a six-month low of 80.68 hit on Friday.
    The benchmark Nikkei is up 6.0 percent this year, trailing a
12.7 percent rise in the U.S. S&P 500 and a 11.7 percent
gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index.
    Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co Ltd plunged 15
percent to 412 yen, hitting a three-week low after the precision
machinery maker cut its annual forecast to an operating loss of
7 billion yen from a previous estimate of a 3.5 billion yen
profit, reflecting a slowdown in demand for semiconductor
production equipments.
    Resources shares are higher helped by rising crude prices,
with Inpex Corp rising 1.3 percent to 440,000 yen and
Mitsubishi Corp adding 1.2 percent to 1,470 yen.
    Sankyo Co Ltd sank 4.9 percent to 3,520 yen,
hitting a two-week low after the maker of pachinko pinball game
equipment slashed its full-year operating profit forecast by 76
percent to 12 billion yen, citing weaker sales.