- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2003

TOKYO, Jan. 16 (UPI) — Stock prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended little changed Thursday in moderate trading, as pressure in technology issues offset strength in banking stocks.

The blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average, which gained 58.69 points Wednesday, eased 2.58 points to 8,609.17. The broader Topix Index, which rose 9.76 points during the previous session, added 0.64 points to 856.30.

Volume declined to an estimated 824.70 million shares from 878.86 million shares changing hands on Wednesday. Declines outpaced advances 735 to 575.

Analysts said stocks ended almost flat on losses in high-techs following Wednesday's decline on the tech heavy Nasdaq Stock Market. Analysts said banks continued to rise on news that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking plans to raise capital by issuing shares to Goldman Sachs before books close in March.

The threat of ballooning loan-loss charges under a stricter official assessment of bad loans in government inspections later in the month has pushed banks into seeking new capital.

Experts said Itochu Corp., Japan's third-largest trading house, and other firms that depend heavily on bank lending, were lifted by the news.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the listed parent of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Japan's second-largest bank, rose 1.1 percent, adding to the previous day's 8.5 percent gain.

Itochu Corp. jumped 9 percent, No. 1-ranked trading house Mitsubishi Corp. rose 4.4 percent, Nikko Cordial Corp. gained 5.8 percent and builder Shimizu Corp. jumped 6.8 percent.

In the technology sector, electronics maker Pioneer Corp. fell 3.5 percent after a weak capital spending forecast by tech bellwether Intel Corp.

Elsewhere in Asia, prices ended lower in moderate trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index, which rose 77.18 points during the previous session, fell 130.26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 9,743.23.

Analysts said stocks were pressured after disappointing earnings from the United States ignited concerns of a recovery in corporate profits in the territory's second largest trading partner.

In trading, garment trader and supply chain manager Li & Fung, which derives substantial earnings from exporting to the United States, sank 3.6 percent.

Johnson Electric, which makes micro-motors for car seats, computer printers and power tools, dropped 1 percent and global bank HSBC Holdings lost 1.4 percent.

Prices ended little changed on the South Korean Stock Exchange. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, which eased 1.76 points during the previous session, added 0.40 points to 648.69.

In trading, Samsung Electronics, the world's top memory chipmaker, rose 1.9 percent after reporting a net profit of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter ended December, sharply higher than the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, Hynix Semiconductor fell 3.3 percent.

Prices ended lower on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The key Weighted Index, which rose 25.28 points during the previous session, fell 74.41 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,943.29.

The island's largest supplier of parts for personal computers, Precision Industry, whose customers include Apple and Dell, fell 1.9 percent.

Prices ended slightly lower on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The key Straits Times Index, which lost 14.75 points during the previous session, eased 7.10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,379.52.

Elsewhere around the Pacific region, prices ended lower in light trading on the Australian Stock Exchange. The blue-chip All Ordinaries Index, which added 0.60 point during the previous session, lost 19.30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,030.30, led lower by a 2.6 percent decline in media giant News Corp.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide