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Japanese Companies Trading In US Extend Losses For Third Session

By Chris Dieterich Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Japanese companies trading in the U.S. took another beating on Tuesday, as an evolving nuclear crisis struck fear in global markets. Traders sold off shares of iconic Japanese corporations like Toyota Motor Corp. (TM, 72.03.TO) and Sony Corp. (SNE, 6758.TO) for the third-straight session. Trading was equally bearish on the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ), an exchange-traded fund that tracks 324 companies, whose 3.4% decline on Tuesday adds to an 11% slide since the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan on Friday. The declines in Japanese funds and companies with American depository shares follow an 11% plunge in the Nikkei Stock Average that started a global rout. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was done 2.1% in late-morning trading. "We saw people throwing stocks out at that open," Craig Peskin, co-head of technical analysis research at MF Global, said. "But a potential nuclear disaster is the wild card." Toyota dipped 2.7% to $79.46 on the NYSE and shares of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY, 7201.TO), whose shares trade over the counter in the U.S., fell 0.5% to $17.74 in recent trading. Consumer electronics giant Sony Corp.'s shares fell 2.7% to $30.23 and Kyocera Corp. (KYO, 6971.TO) traded 4.5% lower to $88.88 in New York. Hitachi Ltd. (HIT, 6501.TO) shares fell 6.3% to $46.74 in recent trading. Japanese financial companies also traded lower, with Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (MFG, 8411.TO) down 7.1% to $3.34 and Nomura Holdings Inc. (NMR, 8604.TO) lost 6.7% to trade at $5.08 on NYSE. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (SMFG, 8316.TO) fell 1.2% to $6.43 recently. With uncertainly guiding trading, strategists said Japanese share remain at high risk for steeper declines. "The reason people are selling is that they just don't know," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's Equity Research. "The problems that have led share price have not been resolved, so in the near term prices are definitely vulnerable." For the first time since the earthquake, not all Japanese stocks fell on U.S. exchanges. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC, 7267.TO) pared losses and rose 0.3% to $38.26 and Canon Inc. (CAJ, 7751.TO) gained 1.4% to $44.24 recently. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in a report Tuesday that the earthquake and tsunami are unlikely to have a direct impact on the credit ratings of most Japanese companies. -By Chris Dieterich, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2611; christopher.dieterich@dowjones.com

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