Mar 24, 2005

Asian Tech Weakness

The FT sums up Asia's overnight weakness:

Sony lost 1.6 per cent as chairman Ryoji Chubachi was quoted as saying that the electronics maker would find it difficult to hit its 2006-07 operating profit target.

Rival Sanyo Electric lost 4.6 per cent to Y336 after it warned it was likely to make a full-year loss owing to falling prices for digital cameras and slower demand. Meanwhile, Seiko Epson, the printer-maker, lost 3.2 per cent to Y3,930 after it, too, warned of sluggish demand.

Pioneer, the consumer electronics maker, shed 2.5 per cent to Y1,932 as it warned would miss its sales and earnings targets owing to increased restructuring costs.

Toshiba slid 3.2 per cent to Y449 after Lexar Media, a maker of removeable memory cards, said a US court had ruled in its favour in a case between the two companies involving theft of trade secrets, and ordered the Japanese company to pay US$380m in damages.

TDK bucked the trend, adding 0.8 per cent to Y7,480 as the technology maker upped its dividend to Y70 per share from Y55 a year ago and ahead of its previous forecast of Y60 per share.

Tokyo Electron, the chip equipment maker, and Advantest, the chip equipment tester, were 0.3 per cent stronger at Y6,130 and 0.6 per cent higher at Y8,160 respectively, on hopes that conditions in the chip sector were showing signs of improvement.

Exporters were stronger, partly thanks to the US dollar's rise to a six-week high against the yen. Automaker Honda was 0.6 per cent firmer at Y5,300 and electronics maker Matsushita 0.4 per cent higher at Y1,568.

Those are some pretty big moves so overall it is impressive the Nikkei was down less than a percent. For our markets news like this usually stays contained to specific names.

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