Nikkei down 0.7 pc, exporters sold

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Tokyo, Sep 21: Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.7 percent on Friday, led down by Honda Motor Co Ltd and other exporters, tracking a fall on Wall Street and hurt by the yen's gains against the dollar.

Sharp Corp drops 1.4 percent to 1,932 yen but Pioneer Corp gains 0.5 percent to 1,408 yen.

The two consumer electronics makers said on Thursday that Sharp will acquire a 14.3 percent stake in Pioneer to form an alliance to jointly develop the next-generation DVD players, car electronics and displays.

''At this point, shares of the two companies are traded on an initial impression of industry-winner Sharp helping struggling Pioneer,'' said Hitoshi Yamamoto, president of Commerz International Capital Management (Japan).

''But in the long run, I think Sharp will benefit from the alliance with Pioneer.'' Deutsche said in a report on Thursday that the alliance was highly positive and upgraded shares of Sharp to ''buy'' from ''hold''.

Commerz's Yamamoto said trading in the Tokyo equity market is likely to be subdued for the rest of the month, as institutional investors are hesitant to take new positions before the end of the first half.

As of 0054 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei was down 115.23 points at 16,298.23. The broader TOPIX index fell 1.0 percent to 1,550.74.

Honda fell 3 percent to 3,750 yen, Canon Inc shed 1.9 percent to 6,170 yen.

Sony Corp was down 1.5 percent a day after the company said it would postpone the launch of the ''Home'' virtual community service for its PlayStation 3 game console to early next year, the latest setback in its videogame battle with Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd extended gains, up 3 percent to 619 yen and INPEX Holdings Inc climbed 2.5 percent to 1.22 million on high oil and commodities prices.


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