Tokyo share prices are likely to face increased selling pressure next week, further dampened by the crisis in Iraq which hurt the bourse on Friday, dealers said. \n"Due to the hostage crisis, market players, who have so far underestimated geopolitical factors, will start taking account of potential risks related to Iraq," said Masatoshi Sato, analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities. \n"The crisis may not directly trigger massive selling next week, but it may be used as an excuse to take profits following the recent gain," Sato said. \nThe benchmark Nikkei index closed below 12,000 for the first time in four business days on Friday after news that militants were threatening to burn alive three Japanese civilian hostages if Tokyo did not withdraw its troops from Iraq. \n"The market is in gloomy mood due to the hostage crisis, which could be a fatal blow to the administration of Prime Minister [Junichiro] Koizumi," said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, a broker at SMBC Friend Securities. \n"Unless the crisis can be resolved without a hitch, Tokyo stocks are likely to fall or remain flat at best," Nakanishi said. \nJapanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has insisted Japan has no plans to pull out its 550 troops from the southern Iraqi city of Samawa, where they are engaged in a humanitarian mission. \nSome brokers said however the impact of the hostage crisis on the Tokyo stock market may be limited. \n"Share prices will decline for a short period of time, but this will not last," regardless of how the hostage situation ends, said Norihito Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi Securities. \n"The kidnapping will be used for a couple of days, say, until Tuesday, as an excuse to make a correction to the rise in share prices, but after that the market will resume its upward momentum," Fujito said. \nIn the week just ended, the Nikkei-225 index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 81.56 points or 0.69 percent to finish at 11,897.51 following a 0.38 percent gain the previous week. \nThe broader TOPIX index of all first-section issues gained 6.66 points or 0.56 percent to 1,190.86 after rising 0.67 percent a week earlier. \nDaily transactions on Tokyo's major board averaged 1.90 billion shares worth 1.68 trillion yen (US$15.7 billion) in the past week, against 1.48 billion shares worth 1.43 trillion yen in the preceding week. \nAmong carmakers, Toyota gained 120 yen or 3.17 percent to end the week at 3,900 yen, and Nissan rose 39 yen or 3.36 percent to 1,190 yen. Honda rose 10 yen or 0.21 percent to 4,690 yen. \nElectronics giant Toshiba gained 13 yen or 2.75 percent to 485 yen, with Sony up 70 yen or 1.62 percent at 4,400 yen. \nRetailers ended mixed after major supermarket chain operators released earnings results for the fiscal year to February. \nItoYokado rose 40 yen or 0.84 percent to 4,800 yen as it announced on Thursday that its net profit rose 15 percent from a year earlier to 53.63 billion yen on improved convenience store and banking operations. \nBut rival Aeon lost 30 yen or 0.64 percent to 4,640 yen despite its announcement that it posted a record net profit of 55.32 billion yen amid signs of growing consumer confidence in Japan.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
HOLIDAY SEASON OMEN: Low-cost brands and high-end retailers had the most foot traffic, leaving mid-range stores struggling on what used to be their biggest sales day US retailers discounted heavily on Black Friday to clear out bloated inventories, but customers responded with only modest traffic, leaving profitability in doubt for many chains. Brick-and-mortar retailers, which were hit hard by COVID-19 closures and shoppers seeking to avoid the virus, saw in-store traffic on Friday tick up 2.9 percent from last year’s shopping event, data compiled by Sensormatic Solutions showed. US consumers are still spending, but they are growing more cautious after contending this year with the highest inflation rates in four decades. They are also keeping a sharper lookout for deals, and retailers — many of them still heavy
‘REVOLUTION’: Elon Musk complained over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on Apple Store transactions and said the technology company has stopped advertising on Twitter Twitter Inc owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple Inc over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store — the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion-plus mobile devices. A series of Twitter posts fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off-ramp labeled “Go to War,” instead