Japanese stocks fell, with the Topix (TPX) index retreating from a six-year high, after Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s credit rating in the first downgrade of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s regime.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., the nation’s second-largest lender by market value, fell 1.5 percent. SoftBank Corp., the wireless carrier controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son, sank 1.8 percent, contributing the most to the Topix’s decline. Shionogi & Co. gained 4.1 percent after the drugmaker said it will buy back shares after raising funds by selling convertible bonds. Inpex Corp., an oil explorer, climbed 1.1 percent after falling 14 percent the previous four sessions.
The Topix lost 0.2 percent to 1,418.60 as of 10:02 a.m. in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.3 percent to 17,532.92. The yen dropped to 119.14 per dollar right after Moody’s announcement yesterday before reversing course and gaining 0.2 percent. It was little changed today at 118.37 after last month weakening the most since January 2013. West Texas Intermediate crude futures posted the biggest advance in two years yesterday after tumbling 10 percent on Nov. 28.
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