TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended lower on
Monday, dragged down by sharp losses in Yaskawa Electric after
the industry bellwether's earnings outlook failed to meet the
market's expectations, prompting a sell-off in other tech
Nikkei average fell 0.77% to close at 29,538.73. It
has been in a holding pattern after hitting a 30-and-a-half-year
high in mid-February, with a break of either its March 18 high
of 30,485 or March 24 low of 28,379, seen as needed for a new
trend to emerge.
The broader Topix ended 0.25% lower at 1,954.59.
Shares of robot maker Yaskawa Electric, a leading
indicator on Japanese manufacturers' earnings trends, lost 7.11%
after its February quarter earnings fell short of investor
The company expects 54.5% jump in its operating profit to 42
billion yen ($383.67 million) in the current financial year,
nearly meeting analysts' forecast of 43 billion yen.
Other technology firms also fell, with Nitto Denko,
Shin-Etsu Chemical and Fanuc dropping between
3.7% and 1.76%.
"Today's investor reaction to Yaskawa stock suggested that
the market expectations for the company was very strong," said
Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
"Investors sold other tech shares because Yaskawa's result
implicated disappointing earnings for others. But if they could
confirm strong earnings of other firms, they would buy them
Supermarket operator Aeon also lost 4.08%, after
subdued quarterly earnings.
More retailers will release their earnings this week while
the country's top companies will start later this month.
Toshiba rose 6.21% after the Nikkei financial daily
said late Friday state-backed Japan Investment Corp (JIC) and
the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) would join $20 billion
takeover bid by CVC Capital Partners.
Small golf shaft maker Graphite Design jumped
8.12%, after Hideki Matsuyama become the first Japanese man to
win a Masters victory at Augusta National.
Golf-related service firm Value Golf gained 13.01%.
($1 = 109.4700 yen)
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi