Japanese stocks tumble 2 pct on Toyota, strong yen

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TOKYO, Nov 8 (Reuters) Japanese stocks dropped more than 2 per cent on Thursday, hurt by Toyota Motor Corp despite its higher earnings, on yen gains and a Wall Street tumble, while weaker-than-expected machinery orders data hit stocks such as industrial robot maker Fanuc Ltd.

Other blue-chip stocks such as Sony Corp were also among the biggest drags on the market.

''The market is now moving to price in an expected weak opening in New York overnight after results from AIG and Cisco Systems,'' said Tsuyoshi Segawa, equity strategist at Shinko Securities.

After the close on Wednesday, shares of Cisco Systems Inc and American International Group Inc declined following their results that sparked concerns about their profitability outlooks.

''The strong yen is also adding to the bearish mood in the market,'' Segawa said.

As of 0057 GMT, the Nikkei average was down 2.1 percent, or 338.08 points, at 15,758.60, hitting the lowest points since Sept. 12.

The broader TOPIX index lost 2.5 percent, or 39.34 points, to 1,517.35.

The dollar hit a three-month low against the yen and was little changed from late U.S. trade on Wednesday at 112.70 yen Japan's core private-sector machinery orders fell more than expected in September, suggesting that strength in corporate activity may be losing momentum. The reading fell 7.6 per cent month-on-month, government data showed, compared with a median forecast for a 1.5 per cent drop.

TOYOTA DRAGS Toyota lost 3 percent to 6,250 yen, a day after the car maker reported a 2.7 per cent rise in quarterly operating profit. The stock had been rising on expectations of the earnings, with investors moving to take profits once the results were out since they had been mostly factored in. A strong yen also contributed to selling.

General Motors Corp, the largest US automaker, posted a record loss for the third quarter.

Shares of Fanuc shed 1.1 percent to 12,180 yen.

Among blue-chip shares, Sony was down 2.9 per cent at 5,360 yen and Honda Motor Co Ltd tumbled 4.1 per cent to 3,950 yen.

REUTERS MP AS0723

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