Japanese Stocks May Slip, Paced by Toyota; Asahi Glass May Drop

Japanese stocks may fall from four- year highs. Exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Canon Inc. may slip after oil prices rose and U.S. home sales slowed, suggesting growth in the world's largest economy may ease.

Oil prices and weaker U.S. economic data ``may help to keep investors on the sidelines and push stocks lower,'' said Koichi Seki, an equity manager at Chuo Securities Co. in Tokyo.

Asahi Glass Co., the world's largest maker of glass, may decline. The glass-products maker said first-half net income fell 25 percent, partly as raw materials costs increased.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in September closed in Chicago at 12,460, down from their previous close of 12,470 in Osaka and unchanged from 12,460 in Singapore. Yesterday, the Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 12,472.93 in Tokyo. The Topix index added 0.2 percent to 1272.00.

Benchmarks closed at the highest since July 2001.

Companies that rely on U.S. sales may decline on concern demand from the U.S., Japan's biggest overseas market, is slowing as fuel costs increase and home sales slow. Exports accounted for a third of Japan's economic growth last year.

Toyota, the world's largest automaker by value, generated 60 percent of its sales outside Japan last fiscal year. Canon, the world's largest seller of digital cameras, generated almost 75 percent of its sales from overseas last year.

Over the last year, oil has surged 43 percent and touched a record $67.10 a barrel on Aug. 12. Crude climbed as much as 1.2 percent in New York before closing up at $65.71. It was recently at $66.22 a barrel.

600450 Japanese Stocks May Slip, Paced by Toyota; Asahi Glass May Drop glassonweb.com
Date: 25 August 2005
Source: Bloomberg.com

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