Asian Markets Update: Japanese Stocks Fall Again on Exporter Fears - TheStreet

TOKYO -- Foreign investors in Japan dumped large-cap technology shares to book profits before the end of the first half in June, sending key indices lower despite a bounce in U.S. shares overnight.

The

Nikkei 225

index fell 260.53 points, or 1.5%, to 16,654.42, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, lost 26.03, or 1.7%, to 1544.65. The

Jasdaq

small-cap index gained 0.67 to 88.81, while the Nikkei over-the-counter index climbed 2.36 to 1764.74.

Lower-than-expected U.S. retail sales data lifted U.S. equities but the slowing of the America's economy doesn't bode well for Japan's exporters, which rely on profits generated overseas.

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

, lost 430 yen, or 4.2%, to 9850,

TDK

(TDK)

shed 140, or 1.0%, to 14,150, while

NEC

(NIPNY)

fell 10 to 2990.

The growing appetite for Japanese bonds in light of growing stock market volatility is also making many of the high-priced electronic and telecom shares a prime target in the campaign to raise cash. Overseas investors bought about $18 billion of Japanese bonds in May, a record high according to the

Ministry of Finance

. These investors looked like they were finding cash to buy bonds from selling telecom shares such as

Japan Telecom

, down 500,000, or 11.0%, to 4.04 million.

The greenback barely moved against the yen and fetched 106.49 yen as trading was handed over to Europe. Aside from waiting around for the release of the U.S.

Consumer Price Index

data later today, some dealers said they will also be looking at the

Bank of Japan's

June economic report tomorrow, to determine whether the yen has room to strengthen further.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index reversed earlier losses and climbed 164.13 points, or 1.1%, to 15,857.07. Investors scooped up shares of

Cheung Kong

, up HK$2.50, or 3.2%, at 81.75, on hopes that its chairman Li Ka-shing would announce an increase in his personal stake in the company. Investors were also hoping Li may push to restructure Cheung Kong's 49.9% owned unit

Hutchison Whampoa

(HUWHY)

, up 2.00, or 2.1%, at 98.00.

Profit taking hit

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

, down 1.00, or 1.6%, to 61.50, as investors judged the firm's share price too expensive after noting rival

China Unicom's

initial public offering price of HK$13.66-15.84. Shares of China Unicom are scheduled to start trading June 21.

Korea's

Kospi

index gained 14.82, or 1.8%, to 819.28, while Taiwan's

TWSE

index climbed 44.14 to 8935.23.