Japanese stocks fell in CFDs Accounts, with a gauge of utilities dropping the most in a month as a weak yen boosted costs for fuel. Trading companies declined as commodity prices weakened.
Tokyo Gas Co., Japan’s No. 1 natural-gas distributor, sank 1.9 percent. Kansai Electric Power Co., Japan’s No. 2 utility, retreated 1.8 percent. Mitsui & Co., which counts commodities as its biggest source of profit, and Inpex Corp., Japan’s largest oil-explorer, dropped at least 1.4 percent after commodity prices fell. Declines by utilities overshadowed the benefits of a weaker yen for exporters.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, rose 0.6 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.2 percent to 9,805.52 at the 11 a.m. trading break in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.8 percent.
The broader Topix index fell 0.5 percent to 847.57. About twice as many stocks dropped as rose. The Topix has declined 6.2 percent as of yesterday in 2010, compared with gains of 7.4 percent by the S&P 500 and 7.3 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Stocks in the Japanese benchmark are valued at an average 15 times estimated earnings, compared with 14.1 times for the S&P 500 and 12.2 times for the Stoxx 600.
Utility companies were the heaviest drag on the Topix among its 33 industry groups. Tokyo Gas fell 1.9 percent to 368 yen. Kansai Electric retreated 1.8 percent to 2,005 yen. Tokyo Electric Power Co., Asia’s largest electricity generator, slid 0.5 percent to 1,904 yen.
The dollar reached 83.25 yen, the highest level since Oct. 6, compared with 82.75 at the close of stock trading in Tokyo yesterday.
Gains in the dollar buoyed carmakers as it boosts the value of their overseas income when converted into yen.