Japan’s Topix Index of stocks fell for a second day on speculation a U.S. congressional committee will struggle to reach an agreement on deficit-cutting measures and on concern Europe’s debt crisis will linger, damping the earnings outlook for exporters.
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, fell 1.6 percent. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, slid 0.9 percent after a report showed Japan’s exporters declined more than expected in October. Osaka Securities Exchange Co. rose 2.1 percent after a newspaper reported the bourse will announce a merger agreement with Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. tomorrow.
The Topix Index fell 0.3 percent to 718.19 as of 9:17 a.m. in Tokyo, set for the lowest close since March 12, 2009. The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average was little changed at 8,375.60, after falling as much as 0.3 percent.
“There’s likely to be a continuing impasse and people will focus on the stability of the U.S. politically,” said Tim Schroeders, who helps manage $1 billion in equities at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne. “People will probably sit on the sideline and wait for clarity.”