Tokyo stocks could hit year low on yen, Wall St

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Tokyo, Nov 12: Japanese stocks are seen set to mark a new 2007 low on Monday, pulled down by Toyota Motor Corp and other exporters following big losses on Wall Street and the yen's sharp rise against the dollar.

Market participants said the Nikkei average is likely to test this year's intraday low of 15,262.10 hit on Aug 17.

One of the stocks in the spotlight is Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, after it reported an 18.4 percent fall in first-half operating profit due to slowing sign-ups to its high-speed cable and wireless services but raised its forecast for the full year above expectations.

''The market is likely to see a lot of selling from the opening and will test the year's low,'' said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

''But after a round of selling there's likely to be buying on dips, since negative factors are mostly from outside the Tokyo market.'' Market participants said the Nikkei is likely to trade between 15,200 and 15,400.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 15,255 on Friday, 295 points below from the Osaka close indicating a lower opening.

The Nikkei lost 1.2 percent on Friday to close at 15,583.42.

For the week, the benchmark lost 5.65 percent.

The dollar continued to slide against the yen and was around 110.44 yen after the Japanese currency hit a 1-{ year high on Friday as fears of wider credit-related losses at U.S. financial firms dulled investors' appetite for risk, causing an unwinding of carry trades.

U.S. stocks fell for a third session on Friday after a disappointing outlook from Qualcomm Inc triggered more weakness in technology shares and helped give the Nasdaq Composite Index its biggest weekly point loss since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.69 percent and the Standard&Poor's 500 Index fell 1.43 percent. The Nasdaq lost 2.52 percent.


-- Softbank Corp T> Walt Disney Co plans to use Softbank's network to launch a mobile phone service in Japan next spring to grab fans with animated content, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

-- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) T> NTT reported an 18.4 percent fall in first-half operating profit on Friday due to slowing sign-ups to its high-speed cable and wireless services, but raised its forecast for this year above expectations.

NTT also lowered its target for the business year by one-third to 20 million lines by 2010/11, down from a previous target of 30 million, and said it would buy back up to 100 billion yen ($906.2 million) worth of its own shares.

-- Ebara Corp T> Ebara plans to downsize its public works-related operations as public spending cuts and tough competition make it difficult to earn profits in the business, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.

Ebara plans to spin off its garbage incinerator and water treatment facility divisions, which account for about 30 percent of its total sales, and will exit the businesses if it cannot turn them profitable by the year to March 2010, the paper said.

-- Honda Motor Co T> Honda said on Friday it had received about 20,000 orders for its remodelled Fit subcompact in the two weeks since its launch in Japan last month, far outpacing a monthly sales target of 12,000 cars.

-- Fujifilm Holdings Corp T> Fujifilm said on Friday it would buy back up to 22 billion yen of its own shares, or up to 0.8 percent of its total outstanding stock, from Nov. 12 to Dec 20.

-- Sega Sammy Holdings T> Sega Sammy on Friday posted a group net loss of 20.27 billion yen for the first half ended Sept. 30 and cut its full year forecast by 97 percent to a net profit of 1.0 billion yen, citing sluggish sales of pachislot and pachinko game machines.


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